Whether your home is new or old, it may contain hidden toxins.   Here are four common toxins and how to make your home healthier:


1.      Mold, a musty-smelling, black or greenish fungus that thrives on moisture, and irritates your eyes and skin plus makes you cough.

What To Do:  Keep your house clean, dry, and well ventilated especially in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.  Remove minor mold with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.  If you find a large amount, it may be inside a wall, so talk to a professional mold removal service about cleaning it up.


2.      Chemical compounds, including formaldehyde (in carpets,

upholstery, glues) can make your eyes and throat burn; benzene (in plastics, synthetic fibers, pesticides) can cause dizziness; and trichloroethylene (in paint removers, adhesives) can cause fatigue.
What To Do:  Read labels and buy household products wisely.  Store hazardous products on corrosion-resistant shelves and learn how to safely recycle them at: www.earth911.com.


3.      Lead paint, especially in homes built before 1978, can cause brain damage in young children.

What To Do:  Check the paint in homes, particularly if you’re planning to renovate.  For details, go to: www.epa.gov/lead.


4.      Radon, an odorless gas that comes from the breakdown of soil and rock under your home is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

What To Do:  You can buy a radon test kit at a hardware store or contact the state radon office for a list of qualified testers.  To find a certified radon contractor to fix a problem, go to this directory: www.epa.gov/radon/whereyoulive.html