Is your home environment having a negative effect on your health?

The notion of ‘sick building syndrome’, which you may have encountered previously, first came into prominence in 1986 and was represented by the idea that some internal environments actually could make people ill, or negatively contribute to underlying conditions. It was applied at that time to both domestic and industrial settings. Since then, ‘sick building syndrome’ has remained a somewhat controversial topic. While many people, including some medical experts, believe it is a very real issue, others remain unconvinced. Even if you completely set aside this particular talking point, there are some very real concerns about internal habitats that deserve your attention.

The Air You Breathe

Given the ongoing bad press about air quality, there is no excuse for ignorance about the dangers of pollution, in any shape or form. However, we tend to think of this as an external problem only, with smog nearing the top of our list of worst offenders. Dust from quarries, mines and asbestos is also implicated. It’s worth pausing to think how many of us consider what is going on inside as opposed to outside our homes.

Dust and smoke inhaled into your lungs can adversely affect your general health, and an excess amount may result in disease. We now know that smoking can cause lung cancer, for example, because it can impair the positive ability of your lungs to clear themselves of debris.

In your home there are various dust sources that might cause irritation to your lungs – pet dander, dust mites as well as everyday hairs, fluff and dirt that collects on furniture surfaces, in corners, on carpets and in other places where cleaning may be infrequent or have been neglected. Not only do these substances make your lungs work harder, they may also lead to allergies and intolerances.

Clean As You Go

A relatively simple antidote to internal environmental problems is to keep your home very clean. Symptoms that mimic a bad cold or flu, as well as asthmatic wheezing, can be the result of cleaning that is below par – remember that disinfectants kill viruses, bacteria and other germs. It may become necessary to treat allergies such as asthma with regular antihistamines if they persist.

Mold growth can also cause unpleasant symptoms and some thorough cleaning of tricky areas is advisable on a regular basis. If dust mite allergens are known or suspected to be a problem, then attention needs to be paid to heavy fabrics, including area rugs, carpets and drapes. Burlington carpet cleaning is a reliable and trustworthy firm that tackles the cleaning of all kinds of upholstery as well as floor coverings.

Finally, remember to protect your family from the different aspects of your home environment that may affect them, depending on their age. In 2013, the National Center for Health Statistics found that allergies among young people were increasing. Specifically, younger children were more likely to have skin allergies (such as eczema) while older children were more likely to have respiratory allergies.

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