Every day, we are exposed to chemicals and pollutants in the air, water, soil, food and products we use in our home. Here are four things you should be aware of to help make your home is a healthy one.
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are a group of chemicals found in many products that can negatively impact air quality. One common example of a VOC is formaldehyde.
VOCs are often used in composite wood products, paints and glues and some furnishings. When shopping for paint or furniture, look for labels indicating that the product has no VOCs or low levels of these compounds.
Test your water for lead
Many older homes still have lead pipes either providing the municipal supply or in the pipes inside the house. This lead can leech into your water supply. If it does, it can impact your brain and nervous system. This is particularly dangerous for pregnant people and young children.
If you have reason to be concerned, many municipalities provide free water testing kits to check for lead contamination.
Do not disturb asbestos
Many products used in the construction of older homes have asbestos fibres in them, including plaster walls, floor tiles and insulation.
The good news is that if the asbestos is not damaged or disturbed and fibrous particulars are not floating in the air, there are no significant health risks.
But if you’re planning a reno and you have materials in your home that might contain asbestos, you should hire a professional to test before you begin any demolition.
Improve indoor air quality
The air inside your home can actually be more polluted than the air outside. Regularly maintaining your heating and cooling system – including replacing furnace filters – is essential for indoor air quality.
You should also run the exhaust fans in your bathroom whenever you bathe or shower and every time you turn on your stove or oven.
Learn more ways to reduce your risk at canada.ca/healthy-home