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5 Tips for a Healthy Home

When it comes to maintaining a healthy home, there’s more involved than a weekly scrubbing and dusting. From building materials to cleaning products, there are a number of unsuspected culprits that may be affecting your health. Here’s a list of some of the most common offenders as well as a few safer alternatives.

What You’re Walking On
One of the leading sources of toxins in your home lies just beneath your feet – carpets. They are traditionally made with a number of chemicals, allergens and toxic dust, some of which are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of extremely hazardous substances. Additionally, over time your carpet can collect dust mites, dirt, pesticides and other toxins brought in on shoes, feet and pet’s paws. Safer alternatives include hardwood and tile flooring. Just make sure to do your research; wood flooring sometimes contains toxic glues, and the grout in tile flooring can be a magnet for germs.

Oldie but Goodie?
Though old houses have an undeniable charm, they can sometimes pose hidden health dangers for potential buyers. Before buying, be sure to have the house inspected to protect yourself against toxic building materials such as asbestos and lead-based paint.

A Splash of Color
    According to the EPA, indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air. Two leading causes are paints and finishes, which can release low-level toxic emissions for years. The good news is that non-toxic, or zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds), paints are now available at most paint stores. While they may be slightly more costly, their benefits far outweigh the difference in price.

Non-Toxic Alternatives
When using pest control, the rodents or insects invading your home aren’t the only ones being poisoned. Traditional pesticides are made from a mixture of toxic chemicals that pose a number of long-term health effects, including cancer, nerve damage and disruption of the endocrine system. Try a non-toxic alternative such as Orange Guard (www.orangeguard.com) or Citrus Home Pest Control (www.greenfeat.com)

In the Bathroom
Shower Curtains are an unsuspected bastion for mold, soap scum and other health-threatening bacteria. You can avoid these by replacing your shower curtains on a regular basis, washing down your shower curtain with ultra microfiber wipes and replacing your shower curtain with glass doors.

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