Your home should be your haven, where you can relax and ensure that you have protection against hazards. However, there are dangers in the home that can go unnoticed and have harmful effects over time. In particular, there are three harmful gases in your home that may be making you sick. This article will help you stay knowledgeable and updated on how to keep your home free of these.
Radon is a colorless, scentless, and tasteless noble gas. It’s radioactive, naturally occurring, and one of the leading causes of lung cancer, right behind smoking. The amount of radon you breathe in can cause damage over long periods without you realizing it. While there are acceptable radon levels, it’s difficult for the gas to disperse when inside the home.
Because radon occurs from the natural decay of uranium in soil, it can seep into the home through cracks in the foundation. Holes in slabs, crawl spaces, and basements are avenues by which radon enters the house.
To mitigate this, make sure your house has proper airflow by turning on fans, opening windows, and using your air conditioning. You can also ask professionals to check your foundation quality and radon levels.
Carbon monoxide (CO), while more well known to the public, is another scentless, tasteless, and odorless gas. The danger of CO is that it doesn’t cause any pain but rather makes you very sleepy and confused. Unfortunately, it’s too late to get out of the situation by that time.
While CO can quickly disperse out in the open, much like radon, it can gather in the home very quickly. Because CO is a product of burned fuel, it comes out of machines like stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, lanterns, and cars. While most of this technology isn’t present in the home anymore, many people still get CO poisoning by letting their car engine run in an enclosed space.
There are many CO monitors that can check your CO levels throughout your home. So if you suspect a leakage, you can buy a monitor or call a professional.
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are artificial. VOCs can cause damage to the internal organs, beginning with nose and throat irritation and eventually leading to liver, kidney, and nervous system damage.
Typically, VOCs are in paint products, sealants, and refrigerants. You can mitigate these effects by monitoring what builders use in your home or buying products that say “low VOCs.” While you can buy an air quality monitor, it’s best to have a professional measure your VOC levels.
Unfortunately, most homes don’t have built-in detectors that monitor all these gases. Currently, most houses only come with carbon monoxide detectors. Hopefully, understanding these three harmful gases in your home will help you better protect yourself and your loved ones from an unnecessary accident.