home is where my habits have a habitat.
~ Fiona Apple
Green Diva Meg recently had a chance to speak with Caroline Blazovsky, healthy home expert and fellow contributor to The Happy Healthy Home: 30 ways to live healthier at home book that GD Meg was recently featured in. Listen to this Green Divas @ Home podcast featuring Caroline Blazovsky and then read on…
5 Hidden invaders in your home and how to get rid of them
These creeping looking microscopic critters, feed on our dander from pets and humans and produce proteins that give us allergies! Warm, wet conditions can make them multiply.
Reduce temperature and humidity to help reduce dust mites. Dust mites love warm humid conditions above 70F and 50% relative humidity. National Institute of Health says effective control you should keep relative humidity below 50%. Try new home health devices and phone apps to monitor these conditions in your home. They will help you set proper levels and be warned through your phone when conditions are not optimal.
Molds are like people, they need food, air and water to survive. Remove water sources to keep them out!
Water in the home can contribute to mold growth. Bathrooms, Basements, Leaking roofs, faulty plumping and too much humidity can all be sources. Keep humidity down in your home to control mold growth, optimal levels for humidity are 30-50%. Monitors for relative humidity (RH Monitor) in your home will help know when levels are too high, preventing nasty mold from forming. Test for mold every 3-5 years. Here’s one home test kit.
VOCs & Gases
We have numerous sources in our home that contribute to VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and gases. Some of these are necessary like heating fuel, and building products, but some are unnecessary like many chemicals from cleaners, personal care products and automobiles. Reduce volatile organic compounds. When you have too many chemicals in the home, your Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) levels become elevated which compromise your indoor air quality and may affect your overall health. In these cases hire a professional to test for VOC’s or try a DIY test like the PREDICT Home VOC Test Kit. Levels can become easily elevated from excess paint cans, remodeling, storing of gasoline, dry cleaning, moth balls, stored pesticide and fertilizers and contaminate your space. Ventilate and remove sources in your home for improved health.
Toxic Pest Control
Bug sprays for the home and lawn contain an unfathomable amount of different chemicals.
Even if these products say they are safe for home use they may still linger after they are dried. The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists arsenic, chlorine, ammonia, and formaldehyde among many common ingredients used for pest control. These chemicals produce a number of effects from skin and eye irritation to endocrine & hormone disruption and cancer.
Keeping a sparkling home will keep pests away. Checking around the exterior base of your home will show where any bugs may be able to enter. Bugs like ants can easily be swept or sprayed with water. However, some stubborn insects may need a little more help. Mosquitos are attracted to standing water. Make sure all outside water sources are dumped when not in use.
Natural repellents like garlic and rosemary work as well. For creepy crawlies like spiders, try some diluted peppermint oil in any dark spaces that these pests may lurk. Green Diva Meg uses electronic pest repellent to help keep the mice out of her farmstead in the country. Here’s a list of recommended ultrasonic pest repellers.
Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless, toxic flammable gas formed by incomplete combustion found in items that burn fuels: cars, stoves, fireplace, and furnaces. Carbon Monoxide binds to our blood! We are very familiar that in very high levels, it can cause death. But low levels over an extended time are known to contribute to chronic health problems too. We need to be monitoring at low and high levels, most traditional monitors will only be triggered at high levels. Always, have a yearly inspection of your furnace, chimney and exhaust pipes. Have the gas company check your home periodically for gas leaks and CO! Be able to see smoke, a fire, or call authorities when you are not home.
After the recent flooring scare in the media, we should all be aware of Formaldehyde. It is in everything from building materials to personal care products. It is also naturally occurring and can be found in wood and the atmosphere. BUT, because it’s everywhere does not make it healthy! In fact, it is a probable Carcinogen according to the EPA. Too much exposure is not good for us. New construction and remodeling in our homes can raise formaldehyde levels. Also read your personal care products, so many contain formaldehyde or derivatives of this chemical. It name may be disguised under various terms one being –Urea. Monitor for formaldehyde every 5 years, or if you have done remodeling or have just moved into a new home, you should test after the completion of your project, to make sure you air is safe and ventilated.
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Caroline Blazovsky is nationally recognized as America’s Healthy Home Expert®. She is a media personality as well as being chosen as a leading health and safety professional in 2016. Consult with her on testing for contaminants in the home, reducing allergens & chemicals, improving indoor air and water quality, mold and using environmentally-friendly building materials and products. www.myhealthyhome.info www.healthyhomeexpert.com or 866-743-8563.
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