Your home is where your family members spend the bulk of their lives as they sleep, eat, relax, play, and make memories there. Something as simple as the water in your home, which every American uses approximately 88 gallons of every day, could pose a threat if contaminated. Whether you're moving into a new house or you've lived in your home for a decade, make sure you've performed these tests that can help your family members have long and happy lives.
1. Test For Radon
Radon gas comes from the natural decay of uranium, which is found in the soil underneath a home. Radon enters the home through cracks in the foundation, crawl spaces, and basements. It is a radioactive gas that the Surgeon General has warned is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the country. You can hire a professional to test for radon in your home, or buy a DIY test kit at a local hardware store.
2. Test For Lead
Lead-based sources that can lead to lead poisoning include lead paint, lead fumes during construction, and lead in a contaminated water supply. Lead exposure is especially dangerous for children, as it can damage their organs, put them at a higher risk of developing a learning disability, or lead to death in extreme cases. You can buy DIY kits to test for lead on painted surfaces and contact water authorities to test for lead.
3. Test Water Supplies
Outside of lead, there is an entire collection of other contaminants that can be lurking in your water supply. These contaminants can be either biological or chemical and can include bacteria and pesticides. As about 70% of our bodies and 85% of our brains are made up of water, you should have the water that your family uses to drink, cook, and bathe tested. To test for bacteria in your water, you can use a DIY test and get results within 48 hours. As with lead testing, you can contact local water authorities to test for other contaminants.
4. Test For Asbestos
Although asbestos is not used for insulation in homes now, it was very common in construction projects up until about 1980. Crews used it in all areas of a home, from interior heating pipes to exterior shingles. Asbestos is very hazardous to human health if its particles are inhaled. For anyone with a home that was built before 1980, you should have an inspector check for asbestos hiding in your house.
5. Test Your HVAC System
Maintaining the integrity of your home's HVAC system is crucial. This one system controls your home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. If it is dysfunctional or if it is circulating dangerous pollutants through your home's air ducts, your family's health could be compromised. Have your HVAC system inspected regularly by professionals and ensure that the air ducts in your home are clean as well.
Your home needs to be in the best shape possible from top to bottom. Performing any necessary tests will be well worth the effort if it means that you can protect your family's health.
Written by LouAnn Moss for The Healthy Moms Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.