How Toxic Substances Can Affect Health & What You Can Do

Your home should be a safe space for you and your family. However, homes are often the site of toxic chemicals found in the building materials of your home.

To protect your family from them, you should know what to look for, and what to do if the materials in your house do produce ill effects over time.

Asbestos

Although asbestos was phased out in 1989, its prevalence is still common in older houses, especially in garages or outhouses. Asbestos was often used for electrical and building insulation before its dangers were known. Inhaled asbestos fibers can aggravate lung tissue, and cause them to scar, which can then lead to related diseases such as cardiac failure or lung cancer.

So far, there have been 225,000 deaths from asbestosis. Your family will usually be safe around asbestos unless disturbed; however, you will have to get it removed. If you believe that asbestos has caused ill effects to your family’s health, you can make an asbestosis claim through Boyes Turner solicitors, who will help you to get the compensation that you deserve.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a respiratory irritant that can cause cancer at worst and a chesty cough at best. MDF, or Medium Density Fibreboard, is often found in homes and is used for shelving and cupboards, for example. However, it also contains a large amount of fine wood dust which is held together by glue – this contains the dangerous substance, formaldehyde.

Heating systems can draw formaldehyde in and spread the dust around the room, leading to heightened danger for those in direct contact with the air being produced. To ensure that you are protected from formaldehyde, you should ensure that you install high-quality ventilation systems into your home and try adding dehumidifiers for the greatest effect.

Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas which occurs when radioactive metals break down in the soil, water or ground outside your house. However, your home may be exposed to radon if there are gaps or cracks in your home which may allow radon to enter.

You may have radon in your house if you contract persistent chest infections such as bronchitis, have a chesty cough, shortness of breath or even a loss of appetite. You can reduce radon levels by sealing lofts and openings in floors, or by having ventilation. If this is still not enough, you should speak to your local Environmental Health Agency to discuss alternative or more extensive solutions.

Lead

If you live in an older house, you should be aware of the risks of lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can occur from lead-based paints or lead-contaminated dust and can lead to damage to kidneys and the central nervous system, which can cause seizures. To remove lead-based paint, there are a few different methods such as wet-scraping and power-sanding which can help to minimize the dust.

Toxic substances may be invisible, but they can greatly damage your health and that of your family. Ensure that your family is safe by taking the precautions necessary, such as checking your house for poisonous substances.

Thanks to Ana

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