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Salud General

100 maneras en que su hogar podría estar enfermando

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Su viaje a casa todos los días es una cuestión de vida o muerte. Estás esquivando otros autos. Te preocupa qué comer. Estás esquivando a tu vecino, el que tiene halitosis. Cuando finalmente cierras la puerta de entrada, prevalece una sensación de calma: lo lograste. Estás en casa.

Pero estas a salvo?

Una nueva investigación impactante demuestra que hay peligros para la salud al acecho en cada casa, con amenazas encontradas en su lavavajillas, ducha, dormitorio y más. De hecho, no hay una habitación que no haya sido tocada por sustancias aterradoras que puedan enfermarte. Le preguntamos a los principales investigadores del país cuáles son exactamente los problemas y cómo resolver cada problema, para que pueda ser más feliz, más saludable y más seguro, donde más importa.


1

La pista de tus zapatos en materia fecal

Pie en zapatos blancos y pantalón negro en el piso sucio, caca de pájaro, hoja

Un estudio escataológico realizado por el Dr. Charles Gerba, microbiólogo y profesor de la Universidad de Arizona, descubrió que sus zapatos pueden contener una gran cantidad de bacterias, tanto en el exterior como en el interior. En el estudio, 10 personas usaron zapatos nuevos durante una semana. Al final de la semana, el exterior de los zapatos promedió 421,000 unidades de bacterias y se encontraron 2,887 unidades en el interior. (Para el contexto: eso es menos sucio que un tazón para mascotas pero más sucio que el pomo de una puerta).

Asquerosamente, el 96 por ciento de las bacterias que se encuentran en los zapatos eran materia fecal, que pudo haber sido recogida del piso de los baños públicos o de excrementos de animales en las aceras y en la hierba. Si se rastrea esta materia fecal en su hogar, los miembros de su familia pueden estar expuestos a ella. E. coli y otras bacterias en la materia fecal pueden causar problemas gastrointestinales, diarrea, neumonía o infecciones del tracto urinario.

Recomendación: Que sea una regla de la casa quitarse los zapatos antes de entrar a la casa. Limpie sus pisos regularmente con un desinfectante que apunte a estas bacterias. Y aliente a los miembros de su familia a lavarse las manos regularmente con jabón antibacteriano, especialmente después de quitarse los Crocs.

2


Su bolso podría propagar bacterias

La joven dejó caer un bolso blanco y todo el contenido cayó al suelo

Llegas a casa después de un largo día, arrojas tu bolso sobre la encimera de la cocina y comienzas a preparar una taza de té. Desafortunadamente, eso podría venir con un lado de las bacterias. Según otro estudio realizado por el Dr. Gerba, el fondo de su bolso podría estar lleno de gérmenes, incluida, lo adivinó, materia fecal. Después de frotar el fondo exterior de 10 bolsos de mujer, cada uno dio positivo por algún tipo de bacteria. Esto se debe a que muchas mujeres colocan sus carteras en los pisos de los baños públicos, en el metro o en los mostradores de las tiendas de comestibles. Esta bacteria se puede transferir fácilmente a alimentos o utensilios en la cocina si la bolsa se coloca en el mostrador de la cocina. Si se transfiere a las manos y a la boca, estos gérmenes pueden causar una serie de enfermedades.

Recomendación: Tenga cuidado donde coloca su bolso y manténgalo alejado de superficies que puedan contener alimentos. Limpie el exterior y el interior de su bolso con una toallita desinfectante que no contenga alcohol ni lejía. Si su bolso está hecho de tela, lávelo en su lavadora en el ciclo "delicado" con agua fría y un poco de jabón para bebés.

3

Puede que hayas escondido el moho

Mujer mirando el agua que se escapa de la tubería del fregadero

"Deseo que más personas sean conscientes de los peligros del moho, ya que se extienden más allá de la simple alergia al moho", dice la Dra. Lauren Tessier, especialista en moho. "Muchos problemas comunes en el hogar pueden estar relacionados con daños causados ​​por moho / agua:

  • esos tubos de sudor / tanque de inodoro sudoroso
  • el piso crujiente frente a tu bañera
  • el calafateo manchado en su bañera / lavabo
  • ese armario con poca ventilación
  • que obstruyó la cuneta / hielo en el invierno
  • ese débil extractor de baño
  • que raramente limpiaba el filtro deshumidificador
  • esas ventanas mal selladas (que conducen a la condensación)
  • El lugar sin limpiar detrás del refrigerador (polvo + aire húmedo + ventilación deficiente = perfecto para el crecimiento de moho)
  • esos fallos desagües franceses

… .Esencialmente cualquier cosa que pueda provocar daños por agua y, por lo tanto, crecimiento de moho ”que podría conducir a problemas respiratorios.

Recomendación: "En cuanto a los pasos de acción: nunca limpie el moho con lejía, aunque se sugiere ampliamente, no es la mejor opción o la más segura", dice el Dr. Tessier. “La mejor opción es limpiar el moho con peróxido de hidrógeno y dejarlo reposar durante 3 minutos antes de limpiarlo. Tenga en cuenta que al limpiar el moho, las personas deben usar protección personal, incluida una máscara facial no inferior a p100, además de guantes y protección para los ojos. El moho, cuando está estresado, libera metabolitos tóxicos llamados micotoxinas, estas micotoxinas pueden enfermar gravemente a las personas y los animales ".


4 4

Su hogar puede tener asbesto que causa cáncer

Techo de asbesto de la casa con cierre de canalón y tubo de plástico.

"Los hogares más antiguos pueden tener plomo o asbesto y pueden provocar enfermedades de por vida y diagnóstico terminal", dice Stephanie Cauller, agente de bienes raíces. Según la EPA, "tres de los principales efectos sobre la salud asociados con la exposición al asbesto son:
cáncer de pulmón; mesotelioma, una forma rara de cáncer que se encuentra en el revestimiento delgado del pulmón, el pecho y el abdomen y el corazón; y asbestosis, una enfermedad pulmonar grave, progresiva, a largo plazo y sin cáncer de los pulmones ".

Recomendación: "Compre su casa con cuidado, ante todo", aconseja Cauller. “Trabaje con un equipo de bienes raíces en el que pueda confiar, incluido un inspector de viviendas y un techador. Si está en una casa en la que ha estado viviendo, encontrar la fuente es el paso más importante. No tiene sentido remediar el ático si no vas a reparar el techo ”.

5 5

Su lavadora podría ensuciar su ropa

21 cosas que puede estar haciendo que aumentan su riesgo de cáncer

Su lavadora puede estar repleta de bacterias de la ropa sucia que ha lavado en el pasado. Según Gerba, "si lava una carga de ropa interior, habrá aproximadamente 100 millones de E. coli en el agua de lavado, y se pueden transmitir a la próxima carga de ropa". Esta materia fecal transporta varios tipos de bacterias dañinas. , incluyendo virus de hepatitis A, norovirus, rotavirus y salmonella.

Recomendación: Simplemente lavar su ropa en agua caliente con detergente no es suficiente para combatir esta bacteria dañina. Si corresponde, agregue lejía o un producto que tenga peróxido cuando cargue la ropa en la lavadora. Si no desea agregar estos productos químicos a su ropa, agregue blanqueador al tambor de la lavadora y hágalo pasar por un ciclo mientras todavía está vacío.

6 6

Los productos de limpieza de su casa pueden ser tóxicos

verter a mano limpiador de desagüe en el desagüe

“Algunas personas piensan que si usan más productos para la limpieza del hogar, serán más seguros. Sin embargo, algunos de esos productos contienen graves riesgos para la salud y pueden ser bastante tóxicos ”, dice el Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD.

Recomendación: "Es por eso que debe leer la declaración cuidadosamente y evitar cualquier cosa con formaldehído y percloroetileno. Una buena idea sería recurrir a productos de limpieza caseros como el que podemos hacer con limón, vinagre o bicarbonato de sodio ".

7 7

Sus envases de plástico podrían ser peligrosos

contenedores de plástico

"Los envases de plástico que utilizamos a menudo para almacenar alimentos pueden contener productos químicos peligrosos como BPA que se pueden filtrar en nuestros alimentos si los almacenamos en esas cajas cuando aún está caliente o cuando los recalentamos", dice el Dr. Nikola Djordjevic. "Además, los recipientes para líquidos pueden contener BPA, que también es muy perjudicial para nuestra salud en general".

Recomendación: "Asegúrese de utilizar recipientes de vidrio o metal en lugar de recipientes de plástico para protegerse". O busque recipientes de plástico que estén claramente marcados como "libres de BPA".

8

Sus detergentes para la ropa pueden causar psoriasis

suavizante de telas lavadora verter mano

"Se sabe que los detergentes para ropa de alta eficiencia ayudan a ahorrar electricidad, agua y dinero, pero pueden tener un costo para su piel", dice Julia Eze, MSN, RN, NP-C, una enfermera especializada en enfermería con sede en Atlanta. "Estos detergentes son ricos en fragancias y jabones y tienen el potencial de causar o exacerbar problemas de la piel como dermatitis atópica, psoriasis, eccema y piel sensible".

Recomendación: "Los detergentes sin perfume y no comedogénicos son alternativas seguras para este grupo de personas", dice ella. "Además, las personas deben tener en cuenta la cantidad de detergente de alta eficiencia que usan, ya que estos solo requieren una fracción de la cantidad de uso recomendada tradicionalmente".

9 9

Sus fragancias podrían causar trastornos del sistema nervioso central

Perfume de pulverización de mujer

"Las fragancias, como los aerosoles y los complementos, cambiaron en la década de 1970 y ahora son 95% sintéticas", dice Mary Ann Block, DO, PA. “Numerosos químicos comúnmente usados ​​en productos de fragancias incluyen: acetona; benzaldehído; acetato de bencilo; alcohol de bencilo; alcanfor; etanol; acetato de etilo; limoneno linalol; el cloruro de metileno, uno o todos los cuales, o en combinación entre sí, puede causar, al inhalar, trastornos del sistema nervioso central, mareos, náuseas, falta de coordinación, dificultad para hablar, somnolencia, irritación de la boca, garganta, ojos, piel, pulmones y tracto gastrointestinal, dolor de cabeza por daño renal, insuficiencia respiratoria, ataxia y fatiga, entre otros síntomas y enfermedades ".

Recomendación: Evite estos ambientadores o encuentre uno que no incluya ingredientes químicos.

10

Su hijo puede necesitar aparatos ortopédicos por el perro

padre e hija pasan tiempo juntos con un perro en una cama

"Si su hijo se vuelve alérgico a las mascotas, sus fosas nasales pueden obstruirse, lo que obliga al niño a respirar por la boca", dice la Dra. Sharona Dayan, periodoncista certificada por Harvard y fundadora de Aurora Periodontal Care. “La respiración bucal es un factor de riesgo para la apnea del sueño, el TDAH, el desarrollo facial deficiente y los dientes torcidos. La boca cerrada y la lengua en el paladar es la clave para el desarrollo adecuado de la cara, los dientes y las vías respiratorias. Tan pronto como la boca se abre durante la respiración, la lengua cae y la mandíbula superior comienza a caerse, los dientes inferiores vuelven a alejarse de los dientes superiores, el paladar se colapsa y luego las vías respiratorias de la nariz ”.

Recomendación: Esto es muy importante en bebés de hasta 9 años cuando la cara y las vías respiratorias se están desarrollando para cerrar la boca, respirar por la nariz y colocar la lengua contra el paladar. "Un remedio fácil y efectivo es evitar tener mascotas en el dormitorio", dice el médico. "Si notas cambios en el comportamiento o dientes torcidos en tu hijo, asegúrate de analizarlos para detectar alergias y apnea del sueño".

11

Su nueva alfombra puede emitir gas

Mujer sentada en un sillón con los pies sobre la alfombra en casa

"Un nuevo informe de Changing Markets, GAIA y el Centro de Ecología encuentra sustancias tóxicas" en toneladas de alfombras, incluidas las que puede tener en su hogar, dice Mary Ann Block, DO, PA. "Estas alfombras tóxicas están perjudicando la salud humana". Según la Agencia de Protección Ambiental, muchas alfombras están hechas de fibras sintéticas que han sido tratadas con productos químicos que "liberan gases", literalmente, emiten gases a su hogar.

Recomendación: Evite las alfombras hechas de polipropileno, nylon o acrílico, y elija opciones más saludables como lana, yute, sisal, mohair o algodón orgánico.

12

Es posible que tenga una alergia a los ácaros del polvo

Mujer propensa a alergias al polvo que sufren las consecuencias de no usar ningún equipo de protección personal mientras limpia la alfombra sucia

"Los ácaros del polvo son uno de los alérgenos de interior más comunes y una molestia durante todo el año", según el Colegio Americano de Alergia, Asma e Inmunología. “Las personas alérgicas a los ácaros del polvo son las que más sufren en sus propios hogares. A menudo, notará sus síntomas inmediatamente después de pasar la aspiradora, barrer o quitar el polvo, cuando haya removido el polvo. Los mohos, el polen, el pelo de las mascotas, el pelaje o las plumas también pueden contribuir a una alergia al polvo ”.

Recomendación: “Puede disminuir o evitar sus síntomas al eliminar los elementos que causan alergias al polvo. Elija pisos de madera en lugar de alfombras, limpie su casa con una aspiradora que tenga un filtro HEPA, use fundas a prueba de ácaros en sus colchones y almohadas y lave sus sábanas regularmente con agua caliente. Considere instalar un filtro desechable de alta eficiencia en su sistema HVAC. El filtro debe tener una calificación MERV (valor de informe de eficiencia mínimo) de 11 a 13 – cuanto mayor sea la calificación MERV, mejor ”.

13

Su felpudo puede contener materia fecal

felpudo antes de la puerta en el pasillo

El Dr. Gerba también concluyó que "los zapatos pueden rastrear las bacterias a gran distancia en su hogar o espacio personal después de que los zapatos fueron contaminados con bacterias". Esto significa que la alfombra de su puerta es susceptible a estos altos niveles de materia fecal y otras bacterias como bien.

Recomendación: Considere comprar un felpudo hecho de un material que se pueda limpiar fácilmente, como plástico o caucho. Use un limpiador antibacteriano para limpiar la alfombra al menos una vez a la semana. Si su felpudo es lavable a máquina, colóquelo en la lavadora al menos una vez a la semana con agua caliente.

14

Tienes polen dentro de la casa

Mujer estornudando en un pañuelo en la sala de estar. Mujer sonarse la nariz en el sofá en casa en la sala de estar. Mujer afroamericana usando un pañuelo sentado en un sofá en casa

"La mayoría de las personas no saben que durante la temporada de alergias, el polen puede entrar en su casa y asentarse en muebles y ropa de cama", informa el Colegio Americano de Alergia, Asma e Inmunología.

Recomendación: "Aquí hay algunos consejos:

  • Una de las mejores formas de evitar los síntomas de alergia es evitar los alérgenos nocivos. Si el polen y el moho son desencadenantes estacionales:
  • Mantenga las ventanas cerradas durante la temporada de polen, especialmente durante el día.
  • Sepa a qué polen es sensible y luego verifique los recuentos de polen. En primavera y verano, durante la temporada de polen de árboles y pastos, los niveles son más altos en la noche. A fines del verano y principios del otoño, durante la temporada de polen de ambrosía, los niveles son más altos en la mañana.
  • Báñese, lávese el cabello y cámbiese de ropa después de trabajar o jugar al aire libre.
  • No use zapatos en la casa: las suelas pueden atraer el polen que se puede dejar en las alfombras y otras superficies ".

15

Sus cucarachas desencadenan asma

Cucaracha Blattodea arrastrándose por la cocina

"Los excrementos de cucarachas no solo pueden desencadenar alergias, sino que también pueden desencadenar y molestar el asma", según el Colegio Americano de Alergia, Asma e Inmunología. “Dado que las cucarachas requieren comida y humedad para sobrevivir, puede ayudar a reducir la exposición al eliminar las fuentes de cada una. En algunos casos, es posible que deba contratar a un exterminador para controlar las cucarachas ".

Recomendación: "Deben tomarse los siguientes pasos:

  • Mantenga su cocina limpia y lave los platos con prontitud.
  • Asegúrese de que todos los alimentos se almacenen en contenedores sellados.
  • Vacíe la basura y recicle los contenedores con frecuencia.
  • Evite dejar comida afuera.
  • Establecer trampas para cucarachas.
  • Selle las grietas en su hogar para evitar la infestación ”.

dieciséis

Su casa puede estar llena de irritantes

Sala de pintura

El Colegio Americano de Alergia, Asma e Inmunología tiene un recurso en su sitio web, HOME Allergy Management, que va sala por sala en términos de alérgenos en interiores. Entre los que puedes encontrar:

  • “Humo: evite el humo del tabaco y no permita que nadie fume en su casa o automóvil. Si fuma, intente dejarlo. No utilice estufas de leña o chimeneas.
  • Olores: manténgase alejado de olores fuertes como perfumes, lacas para el cabello, pintura, gases de cocina, productos de limpieza e insecticidas.
  • Los ambientadores de ambiente y los purificadores de aire electrónicos también pueden desencadenar síntomas.
  • Aire frío: cubra su nariz y boca con una bufanda.
  • Resfriados e infecciones: lavarse las manos con frecuencia.
  • Escape: si tiene un garaje adjunto, no arranque el automóvil y deje que funcione allí. Los vapores pueden llegar a la casa incluso cuando la puerta del garaje está abierta ".

17

Tu despensa te está haciendo engordar

Mujer comiendo

"Básicamente, fácil acceso a muchos alimentos envasados ​​procesados ​​que no tienen un buen contenido nutricional. Los bocadillos son calorías vacías que tienen altos niveles de sal agregada ”, dice la Dra. Eliza Chakravarty, M.D., inmunóloga y reumatóloga de la Fundación de Investigación Médica de Oklahoma. "Sí, te llenan temporalmente, pero cuando estás lleno de comer cosas pequeñas, es posible que no te sientas atraído por una comida saludable".

Recomendación: "Come un plátano congelado en lugar de helado, come vegetales con hummus en lugar de papas fritas", dice ella. "Tu cuerpo te lo agradecerá".

18 años

Su tabaquismo está perjudicando a su familia

Cigarrillo

"Cuando eres fumador, obviamente es muy malo, pero fumar en la casa es malo para todos los que están allí", dice el Dr. Chakravarty. "El humo de segunda mano es realmente peligroso, especialmente cuando tienes niños cuyos pulmones aún se están desarrollando".

Recomendación: "Deje de fumar y, si no lo hace, al menos hágalo afuera donde no esté lastimando a nadie más, nunca en espacios confinados".

19

Sus ambientadores pueden darle una erupción

Ambientador

"A menudo veo pacientes con erupciones en los párpados, el cuello y las manos, y sienten que tratan de cambiar una serie de productos para identificar al culpable", dice el dermatólogo Erum Ilyas, MD, MBE, FAAD. "Si bien es cierto que la dermatitis de contacto puede ser el resultado de una serie de fuentes, una de las interesantes que descubrimos a través de las pruebas de parche, una forma de prueba de alergia de la piel, es la dermatitis de contacto transmitida por el aire a los ambientadores y productos en aerosol. A veces, cuando entras en una habitación y huele fragante, puede ser el resultado de ambientadores o agentes de limpieza. Para aquellos alérgicos a las fragancias, esto puede ser un gran problema ”.

Recomendación: "Las áreas expuestas de su piel y, a menudo, las áreas más delgadas de la piel, como los párpados y el cuello, se ven frecuentemente afectadas", dice el Dr. Ilyas. “Esto también puede ocurrir por alergias al formaldehído que se pueden encontrar en el humo de las chimeneas y cigarrillos. Si sufre de erupciones frecuentes en la cara, el cuello y las manos y tiene problemas para identificar los desencadenantes, puede valer la pena considerar un viaje a su dermatólogo para una prueba de parche para identificar las causas y ayudar a determinar qué evitar ".

20

Las bombillas pueden dañar tu piel

Hombre instalando una bombilla en la sala de estar en casa

"Otro problema común que discutimos con frecuencia en estos días es el daño solar", dice el Dr. Ilyas. “Muchas personas se centran en la exposición al aire libre a la luz ultravioleta. Tengo muchos pacientes que me dicen: "Nunca salgo a la calle, estoy en el trabajo todo el día. ¿Por qué sigo viendo nuevas pecas y nuevas pruebas de daño por rayos UV?". La realidad es que muchas bombillas de bajo consumo, iluminación fluorescente en particular, puede tener rayos UV que escapan de la bombilla ”. ¿Cómo podría ser eso? "La luz fluorescente tiene vapor de mercurio y emite rayos UV cuando se enciende por una corriente eléctrica", dice ella. “Hay una capa de fósforo que recubre el interior de una bombilla destinada a absorber los rayos UV. Sin embargo, muchos estudios han demostrado que a menudo hay grietas en el revestimiento de fósforo que son comunes y que los rayos UV escapan de estas bombillas ”.

Recomendación: Estas bombillas "emiten UV a menudo en el rango de los rayos UVA", dice el Dr. Ilyas. “El rango UVA no causa quemaduras solares, sin embargo daña la piel profundamente, lo que lleva a un adelgazamiento de la piel, pecas y decoloración. Es importante pensar en la protección UV en interiores o reevaluar las fuentes de luz ”. Busque una lámpara LED que produzca niveles más bajos de UV (y UVA en particular).

21

Su aire seco puede inflamar su eccema

"El aire seco en el hogar puede exacerbar o agravar a las personas con piel propensa al eczema", dice el Dr. Ilyas.

Recomendación: "Puede ayudar el uso de humectantes con mayor frecuencia y considerar agregar un humidificador al ambiente de su hogar para aliviar este problema", dice ella.

22

Su maquinilla de afeitar puede causar forúnculos

Pink Lady Shaver en la mesa

"Staphylococcus aureus", una bacteria que puede causar infecciones, "puede llegar a las maquinillas de afeitar", dice el dermatólogo Erum Ilyas, MD, MBE, FAAD. “Una vez que esto coloniza nuestra piel, podemos encontrar frecuentes brotes de pústulas y forúnculos sobre los muslos, las nalgas, debajo de los brazos y la nariz. A menudo vive dentro de nuestras fosas nasales, debajo de los brazos o en el pliegue entre la cadera y la ingle ".

Recomendación: "Cuando descansa la afeitadora después de afeitarse, sería útil colocarla en posición vertical en una taza para permitir que se seque al aire en lugar de boca abajo en el mostrador o la repisa de la ducha para evitar la colonización", dice ella.

23

Sus toallas de baño pueden estar infectadas

Pila de toallas limpias en la cama

La bacteria Staphylococcus aureus también puede estar en sus toallas, dice el Dr. Ilyas.

Recomendación: "Lavar las toallas al menos una vez a la semana, si no un par de veces a la semana, ayudará a reducir esta exposición", dice ella. "Sin embargo, una vez colonizado, puede ser útil consultar a su dermatólogo para que considere un ciclo prolongado de antibióticos orales y un antibiótico tópico de rutina para tratar el estado del portador en el transcurso de un par de meses para aclarar esto".

24

Su bañera de hidromasaje podría darle un "clavo verde"

"El síndrome de las uñas verdes es literalmente cuando las uñas pueden volverse verdes", dice el Dr. Ilyas, MD, MBE, FAAD. "Esto puede ocurrir por la exposición a la bacteria Pseudomona en su jacuzzi o ducha".

Recomendación: "Se puede tratar fácilmente con remojo de vinagre, pero es una señal de que es importante limpiar a fondo las fuentes de agua en su hogar que estén a una temperatura más cálida". Esta bacteria tiende a prosperar en ambientes de aguas cálidas ".

25

Su piso de la ducha podría darle a usted y a su familia verrugas

gotas de agua sobre canalones metálicos

"Las verrugas plantares son causadas por el virus de la verruga, que es el VPH, pero no el mismo que se considera una ETS", dice el Dr. Ilyas. "¡El virus de la verruga puede llegar al piso de la ducha y provocar verrugas en los pies de otros miembros de la familia!"

Recomendación: "Es útil rociar la ducha con un limpiador después de bañarse para reducir la exposición si tiene verrugas plantares mientras las trata", dice ella.

26

Tus picaportes podrían llevar hiedra venenosa

Perilla de puerta de apertura

Con la hiedra venenosa en los titulares, ¡hay un brote en la ciudad de Nueva York en todos los lugares! – "Quería mencionarlo por una gran razón: la resina de las hojas que causa la hiedra venenosa puede permanecer en objetos inanimados durante años si no se lava", dice el Dr. Ilyas. “A menudo encuentro casos de hiedra venenosa en personas que insisten en que nunca entraron en contacto directo con ella. Puede haber contacto indirecto a través de objetos como pomos de puertas, rastrillos y artículos que estuvieron expuestos a la resina ".

Recomendación: "Es útil tomar una toallita jabonosa y limpiar las perillas de las puertas, las manijas del rastrillo, etc. para evitar la exposición".

27

Los materiales de remodelación de su casa pueden contaminarlo

Fondo de madera y astillas de madera

"La remodelación del hogar y los materiales de construcción contribuyen a la calidad de la calidad del aire interior, ya que los químicos se usan en muchas construcciones y edificios remodelados", dice la Dra. Erica Steele DNM ND CFMP BCND de Holistic Family Practice. “Madera, vinilo, chapas, adhesivos, selladores: los compuestos orgánicos volátiles en hogares nuevos o remodelados pueden abrumar los sistemas con autismo y sensibilidad química múltiple. Entre los culpables está el formaldehído:

  • Los productos de madera prensada y lumbar tienden a contener adhesivos estándar que a menudo contienen formaldehído, que se clasifica como un carcinógeno humano.
  • Las emisiones de formaldehído a menudo se reconocen por el olor dulce en la mayoría de los gabinetes de cocina y baño nuevos.
  • El aislamiento de fibra de vidrio está hecho principalmente de sílice y cuando se calienta a altas temperaturas libera formaldehído ".

Recomendación: “Hay muchas opciones más ecológicas disponibles que no contienen formaldehído, como el aislamiento hecho de algodón reciclado o celulosa del periódico reciclado que no representa un riesgo conocido de cáncer. Tanto el algodón como la celulosa se tratan con borato, lo que hace que el material sea resistente al fuego. El aislamiento de fibra de vidrio de contenido reciclado también está cada vez más disponible: solo solicite un mínimo de 25 por ciento de contenido reciclado postconsumo con un mínimo de 50 por ciento de contenido reciclado total. Muchos revestimientos para pisos también se pueden encontrar en bambú, corcho o linóleo, que omite compuestos de baja volatilidad ”.

28

Sus niveles de radón pueden ser demasiado altos

Arquitecto que controla el aislamiento durante la construcción de la casa

“El radón es un gas radiactivo dañino que se desarrolla a través de la liberación de uranio cuando el suelo y las rocas se descomponen bajo tierra. Este gas se puede liberar en el hogar a través de las grietas de su base o incluso a través del suministro de agua, como sus grifos ", dice Alex Berezowski, un experto en reparación de cimientos y fundador de The Foundation Experts. "Es peligroso porque prácticamente no lo detectan los sentidos y puede tener efectos perjudiciales en los pulmones". Por ejemplo, si se inhala, puede causar daño al tejido o, en casos graves, cáncer de pulmón ".

"El radón es un carcinógeno muy peligroso que es la principal causa # 2 de cáncer de pulmón, después de fumar", concuerda el Dr. Herman Williams MD. "No se puede detectar sin un equipo especial, pero es completamente prevenible".

Recomendación: "La única forma de saber con certeza si su hogar se ve afectado es mediante una prueba, ya sea a través de un kit de prueba en el hogar o a través de un contratista de pruebas de radón", dice Berezowski. “Si se detecta radón en el hogar, deberá contratar a un experto en mitigación de radón. Instalarán un sistema de ventilación para extraer el radón de debajo de la casa afuera. Además, debe asegurarse de que su base esté en buen estado: todos los agujeros o grietas deben sellarse para evitar fugas de gas en toda la casa ".

29

Su hogar seco puede causar ojo seco

mujer madura y sana con ojos azules y piel perfecta que llora y se seca las lágrimas, preocupada y emocional. Cara madura y envejecida con una expresión triste, al aire libre

"El ojo seco puede ser causado o exacerbado por un ambiente seco en el hogar", dice Joshua Frenkel, MD, MPH, un oftalmólogo del Centro Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK en Nashville, TN. “Si el aire en el hogar es seco, a menudo esto es peor durante los meses más fríos, los ojos tienden a secarse. Esto puede causar sequedad ocular en quienes no la tienen o empeorarla en quienes sí la tienen. Los síntomas del ojo seco incluyen:

  • Riego
  • Sensación de cuerpo extraño
  • Rojez
  • Incomodidad
  • Y visión borrosa intermitente.

"Otra fuente de ojo seco", continúa, "pueden ser los ventiladores de techo, particularmente en lo alto cuando se duerme por la noche. Aunque muchos disfrutan la sensación y el sonido de un ventilador de techo sobre su cama, los ojos usan el sueño para recargarse e hidratarse. Por esta razón, cuando las personas duermen con un ventilador de techo, pueden despertarse con el ojo seco ".

Recomendación: "Una solución para esto incluye no dormir con un ventilador de techo, sino usar una torre o ventilador de mesa que se pueda dirigir para que no sople sobre los ojos". Si esto no es posible, por ejemplo, su cónyuge es particular, entonces usar una máscara para dormir también es una opción para evitar que el aire sople en los ojos. Finalmente, un humidificador en el dormitorio (o en toda la casa) es una buena idea para cualquier persona que sufre de ojo seco, y puede considerarse durante todo el año ".

30

Su caspa puede causar alergia ocular

Mujer y perro se divierten juguetonamente en la cama

"Muchos casos de alergia ocular son ambientales y, a menudo, están relacionados con el entorno del hogar", dice el Dr. Frenkel. “Las mascotas son un problema particular para muchas personas con alergias oculares. El pelo, la caspa y el polvo pueden acumularse en las alfombras, sofás y almohadas. La exposición puede causar alergia ocular. Los síntomas incluyen enrojecimiento, lagrimeo, picazón, hinchazón de la parte blanca del ojo (conjuntiva) o los párpados ".

Recomendación: "Las gotas para los ojos de venta libre o recetadas pueden ayudar a aliviar los síntomas e identificar y evitar la exposición también pueden ayudar".

31

Su televisor puede causar interrupción del ciclo del sueño

Niña mirando televisión con control remoto en el hogar

"La exposición nocturna a la luz azul, por ejemplo, el uso de un televisor, una computadora o un teléfono celular, justo antes de intentar conciliar el sueño puede provocar trastornos del sueño, ya que los ojos son parte integral del ciclo de regulación de la melatonina", dice el Dr. Frenkel. "La luz que se inclina hacia el extremo azul del espectro es similar a la luz natural que veríamos alrededor del mediodía. Ese es el momento en que se supone que debemos ser más productivos, por lo que nuestros cuerpos reaccionan a esa luz al estar alertas. La exposición por la noche puede evitar que alguien pueda conciliar el sueño o dormir completamente por la noche ".

Recomendación: “Si las personas tienen dificultades con esto, deberían considerar reducir o eliminar la exposición a la luz azul. La mejor manera es simplemente evitar los dispositivos. Más prácticamente, es ajustar la configuración en los dispositivos para evitar la exposición a la luz azul (por ejemplo, en los dispositivos de Apple, esto se llama "Turno de noche"). Alternativamente, se pueden usar o usar gafas o filtros de pantalla que bloqueen la luz azul ("bloqueadores azules") para este propósito ".

32

Sus pastillas, productos y artículos de limpieza pueden ser abusados

Medicamento de botella de píldora recetada

"Con el aumento del abuso de sustancias, tres asesinos silenciosos en el hogar son píldoras recetadas, productos para el cuidado personal y artículos de limpieza", dice la Dra. Emily Eckstein, PSY.D, LMFT y Directora Ejecutiva de los Centros de Tratamiento de Beach House. Los medicamentos recetados (benzodiacepinas, opiáceos), artículos de cuidado personal (ciertos aerosoles para el cabello, aerosoles para aliviar el dolor, eliminación de esmalte de uñas) y ciertos aerosoles de limpieza (espolvoreador de computadoras, limpiador de pizarras blancas, adhesivos en aerosol) son comúnmente abusados. "

Recomendación: "Es de destacar que si sus seres queridos están abusando de algunos de los inhalantes mencionados anteriormente, también puede notar el mal uso de bolsas de plástico, trapos y bolsas de papel que se utilizan en el proceso de inhalar estos artículos", advierte. "Si bien el bloqueo de muchos de estos artículos a jóvenes y adolescentes es una forma de proteger su hogar, la educación temprana sigue siendo el método más eficaz para educar a los jóvenes".

33

Su juego de pesas podría dañarlo, especialmente a los padres

Mujer esforzándose y luchando para levantar pesas en el gimnasio debido a la pérdida de masa muscular

"Levantar un juego de pesas cada vez mayor aumenta la probabilidad de lesiones en la espalda baja con el tiempo", dice el Dr. Alex Wolfe, un quiropráctico cervical superior. "La mayoría de los padres jóvenes se vuelven menos activos físicamente con el nacimiento de su hijo y la musculatura núcleo descondicionada los hace más propensos a estas lesiones".

Recomendación: Siga un plan de entrenamiento sensato, que incluye estos 40 ejercicios excelentes para agregar músculo después de los 40.

34

Su agua del grifo puede no ser segura

Vaso de agua de llenado del grifo

"En los Estados Unidos, casi uno de cada cuatro hogares corre el riesgo de beber agua no segura del grifo o sus sistemas de agua municipales locales no han sido controlados adecuadamente por contaminantes por la ley federal", según la Dra. Elena Villanueva de Modern Holistic Health. “Solo un ejemplo es la crisis del agua que ocurrió en Flint, Michigan. Se encontraron niveles altísimos de plomo en el agua del grifo local y nunca fue publicitado o corregido por la FDA en 2015 cuando los residentes de Flint finalmente descubrieron lo que los estaba enfermando a ellos y a sus hijos. Fue Marc Edwards, un científico de Virginia Tech, quien jugó un papel importante en llevar la crisis a la atención nacional ".

Recomendación: “Abogo firmemente por que mis clientes consuman agua purificada. Personalmente prefiero el agua que ha pasado por ósmosis inversa, filtración UV, ozonización y filtración de carbono, todos ellos. Es fácil de encontrar, de hecho, muchas tiendas de comestibles, como Whole Foods, tienen una máquina de agua donde puede llenar aproximadamente 5 galones por menos de 3 dólares. ¡Asegúrese de usar contenedores libres de BPA! ”

"Los sistemas de purificación de agua que eliminan tanto el cloro como la cloramina son críticos, así como varios metales pesados, productos químicos, etc., dentro del suministro de agua para el hogar", agrega la Dra. Erica Steele. "No solo se debe filtrar toda el agua potable, sino que también se debe filtrar el agua de la ducha, así como hasta el 50% del agua que tomamos proviene de nuestra ducha a través de la absorción a través de nuestra piel".

35

Sus utensilios de cocina pueden causar infertilidad

“Many food serving containers contain many chemicals that can leach into our food supply through containers and or for packaging materials. Containers made from plastics contain phthalates, BPAs,” says Dr Erica Steele DNM ND CFMP BCND. “These chemicals when leached in to the food supply can affect the male reproductive system, increase prostate and breast cancer risk, as well as effects brain development and can create early onset puberty. Anytime that you place hot food or foods that contain fast, oil, or are acidic in plastic you increase the odds of the number of toxins eaten within your food.”

Recomendación: “To prevent exposures avoid storing or using plastic containers to store your food, and/or find plastics that are BPA and Phlataes free. When unavoidable, remove plastic wrapping immediately upon getting home and or cut off the area next to the plastic wrapping. Using lead-free glass, enamel, ceramic, or stainless steel food containers eliminates the risk of chemicals leaching into the food overall.”

36

Your Food May Contain Aluminum

Stacked pots and pans

“With standard cookware, many pots and pans are made from aluminum,” says Dr. Erica Steele. “If untreated aluminum is used to prepare salty or acids foods, large amounts of aluminum can be released within the food. Many common foods and food additives also contain aluminum, such as anti caking agents, baking powders, baking mixes, buffered aspirin, as well as antacids. It does not appear aluminum is absorbed with ease through the digestive system and it is seen the greater risk lie within personal care products that often contain aluminum.”

Recomendación: “Yes, you can still use aluminum, and aluminum foil,” she says. “And now they have Thermolon cookware which seems to be a safe alternative for those concerned of aluminum. It also contains no lead and cadmium.”

37

Your Decanters May Contain Lead

Crystal bottle, decanter and glasses store

“Lead can be found in many glassware and ceramic in products produced before 1990,” says Dr. Erica Steele. “It is important to update your cookware products with the updated new materials as they are determining safer and safer options by the year.”

Recomendación: “If you still have older decanters, glassware, etc. be sure to never store wine or other beverages in them as the liquid makes it easier to leach metals.”

38

You Clothing and Textiles May be Poisonous

almohadas y toallas

“Many textiles, such as bed linens, couch cushions, and clothing, have been treated using many chemicals,” says Dr. Erica Steele. “These chemicals are absorbed and inhaled directly on a daily basis. They not only create toxicity within the body but also leach into the environment leaving an impact on ground water, wildlife, air, and soil. Synthetic fabrics create a huge amount of hazardous chemical waste to include sodium hydroxide and carbon di-sulphide—a neurotoxin found in rayon production that produced thousands of deaths in early rayon manufacturing.”

She goes on: “Most synthetic fabrics have also been treated with fire retardants, water repellents, and permanent press chemicals which all emit volatile organic compounds including formaldehyde. Many other fabrics such as polyester, acrylic, nylon etc are also made from petroleum derivatives. These are suspected carcinogens and can perpetuate many skin issues.”

Recomendación: “There are many textile companies that are more conscious of the chemical treatments,” she says. “Soy fiber can be blended with other fibers to enhance the benefits. Vegetable cashmere is rich with 45% protein content. Many organic textiles are available in wool, silk, hemp, linen, plant fibers as well.”

39

Your Rodent Feces Can Cause Disease

human hand loosely holding a gray field mouse

“Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a potentially deadly respiratory disease,” says Stephanie Cauller, a Re/Max realtor who has seen it all. “And can be caused by contact with rodents or rodent feces. Make sure that any home you live in is free of critters and if there was a problem at one point have it professionally cleaned.”

Recomendación: “Hire professionals to remediate mold, infestations or dirty ductwork to a clean and healthy condition!” she says. “Monitor air quality and visually inspect for mold or other issues on a regular basis as part of routine home maintenance. Also be sure to maintain your own personal health and monitor yourself for symptoms. Seek medical attention if needed.”

40

Your “Indoor Time” Might Give You Myopia

Boy in white t-shirt, wearing glasses, watching movie on tablet

“When children spend too much time in the home and indoors they have the tendency to become more myopic, or nearsighted,” says Dr. David M Roth, an optometrist and orthokeratologist. “Myopia is an epidemic worldwide. And when you are indoors surrounded by four walls in the ceiling your eyes are never exposed to infinity.”

Recomendación: “Children need to be outdoors at least one or two hours a day to help prevent Progressive myopia. Or: One way I stop the progression of nearsightedness is by prescribing special contact lens retainers that the patient sleeps with at night time takes off in the morning and has perfect vision all day long. It works for adults and children.”

41

Your TV Binge Can Ruin Your Posture

“Some of the things that we regularly educate our patients on to evaluate or change within their homes to improve spinal health or overall health are the position of seating relative to the television,” says Dr. Alex Wolfe, an upper cervical chiropractor. “With binge watching now the newest endurance sport in most household, leisure posture is of utmost importance.”

Recomendación: Sit up straighter when watching the latest Queer Eye. Karamo would be proud.

42

Your Poor-Grip Surfaces May Break Your Bones

Handicapped disabled access bathroom bathtub with grab bars

“Falls are one of the most common injuries requiring hospitalization in older people. Lack of stabilizing bars in the home increases the likelihood of these injuries,” says Dr. Wolfe.

Recomendación: Equip your home with stabilizing bars in key areas where a fall is likely—the bathtub, for example, or stairwells. And when travelling, ensure your hotel room as these features. Most hotels offer this feature.

43

Your Pet is Making You Sick

Woman with cat

“It’s a heartbreaking situation for pet lovers if they have allergy symptoms after being with their pets,” reports the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “Allergy symptoms can be constant because exposure can occur anywhere—in pet-friendly workplaces, restaurants and stores, at school, in daycare, anywhere a pet owner has been.”

Recomendación: “Avoidance is the best way to manage a pet allergy, but you don’t have to part with your furry family members. Keep your pet out of your bedroom, wash your hands with soap and water after petting or playing with your pet, vacuum with a HEPA vacuum and bath your pet once a week. Once you know the cause of your symptoms, you can take control of your allergies and asthma and start enjoying life again. To find an allergist in your area, use the Allergist Locator tool on the ACAAI website.”

44

Your Couch Sucks You In

Woman on phone

“Beware a sedentary lifestyle,” says Dr. Eliza Chakravarty, M.D., an immunologist and a rheumatologist at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. “It’s not necessarily secret germs laying in wait as much as it’s the temptation to lay down, relax and just stay there. Before you know it, you’ve spent several hours sedentary and it makes it progressively harder to get the willpower to get up and move. The dangers of an inactive lifestyle are associated with a slew of bad health outcomes, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and all of those related conditions. These can not only affect how long you live, but also your quality of life.”

Recomendación: “Paradoxically, sitting around and not exercising actually makes you more tired,” she says. “Exercising gives you more energy throughout the day. You don’t need to start off with a marathon or intensity training, just walk out the front door and move around. Get your heart rate up to where you can still speak but are a little winded.” Log off Netflix and try these 25 Easy Exercises That Boost Health Fast.

45

Your Low Frequency EMF Exposure May Increase Cancer

Microonda

“Technology advancements for human convenience and efficiency have created a steady increase in man-made low frequency EMF (electro-magnetic field) radiation,” says Dr. Rudy Gehrman, DC, Executive Director and Founder of Physio Logic NYC. “Examples of devices that emit EMF radiation are cell phones, microwaves and Wi Fi routers. Research is showing increasing negative health effects due to this type of radiation. Adverse effects are proportionate to the amount of time, strength of exposure levels and distance from these devices. Some of the known health risks to chronic exposure levels are insomnia, headaches, and more recently, the potential to cause cancer or increased cancer risk. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has already categorized low frequency EMF radiation as a class 2B possible carcinogen.”

Recomendación: “In order to protect yourself and your loved ones from this health risk, a few simple steps can be followed:

  • WiFi routers: Minimize how many you have in your home and keep them out of your children’s bedrooms. In our home, we have installed timers to turn off our routers at night, as there is no need to be ‘blasting’ WiFi while sleeping/not using.
  • Microwaves: Keep at least 10 feet away from a microwave while it is on.
  • Cell Phones: Power them OFF at bedtime, as the radiation emitted can lead to decreased REM sleep and other possible health issues.”

46

Your Pesticides Might Cause…Don’t Ask

Male Worker Kneeling On Floor And Spraying Pesticide On Wooden Cabinet

Mary Ann Block, DO, PA, quotes the Pesticide Safety Education Program, Cornell University, about the dangers of certain big killers. They can be responsible for:

  • “Reproductive effects: effects on the reproductive system or on the ability to produce healthy offspring.
  • Teratogenic effects: effects on unborn offspring, such as birth defects.
  • Carcinogenic effects: produces cancer in living animal tissues.
  • Oncogenic effects: tumor-forming effects (not necessarily cancerous.)
  • Mutagenic effects: permanent effects on genetic material that can be inherited.
  • Neurotoxicity: poisoning of the nervous system, including the brain.
  • Immunosuppression: blocking of natural responses of the immune system responsible for protecting the body.”

Recomendación: Consider a natural pest-killer like insecticides made from oil, garlic, chili peppers, or, in your garden, use tomato leaves or diatomaceous earth, a naturally-occurring rock sold in garden shops.

47

You Might Have Mold in Plain Sight

woman wearing a protective mask while taking a cleansing agent

“Molds live inside and outside your home. They thrive in moist places like bathrooms and kitchens, and unfortunately, many molds aren’t visible to the naked eye,” according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “As the spores become airborne, they can cause allergic reactions and worsen asthma symptoms.”

Recomendación: “Wear a mask when doing yard work, and once inside, take a shower and rinse your nose with a saline solution to remove mold spores. In the kitchen, clean up any spills or leaks quickly to prevent mold from growing. Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in areas like bathrooms and basements. Clean your garbage cans and fridge drawers. For serious mold problems, call a professional.”

48

Your Dirty Air-Conditioner May Cause Respiratory Illness

Hand in yellow glove and vacuum cleaner pipe. Ventilation grill cleaning

“This summer, the item you need to be mindful of in your home is your air-conditioning ducts,” says Dean C. Mitchell, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. “I know in my own home, I saw mold growing around condensation around the air ducts—and fortunately detecting this and getting them cleaned avoided respiratory and skin problems that mold can cause.”

Recomendación: “To avoid this, make sure you’re frequently cleaning the AC and other cooling or heating systems in your house,” says Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD. Clean or change your filters every 90 days, or every 60 days if you have a pet.

49

Your Home May Have Cancer-Causing Lead

Painting room

Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. According to the EPA, “Adults and children can get lead into their bodies if they breathe in lead dust (especially during activities such as renovations, repairs, or painting that disturb painted surfaces); swallow lead dust that has settled on food, food preparation surfaces, and other places; eat paint chips or soil that contains lead.”

Recomendación: If you think your home has lead-based paint, the EPA provides this checklist:

  • “Don’t try to remove lead-based paint yourself.
  • Always keep painted surfaces in good condition to minimize deterioration.
  • Get your home checked for lead hazards. Find a certified inspector or risk assessor at epa.gov/lead.
  • Talk to your landlord about fixing surfaces with peeling or chipping paint.
  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces.
  • Take precautions to avoid exposure to lead dust when remodeling.
  • When renovating, repairing, or painting, hire only EPA- or state-approved Lead-Safe certified renovation firms.
  • Before buying, renting, or renovating your home, have it checked for lead-based paint.
  • Consult your health care provider about testing your children for lead. Your pediatrician can check for lead with a simple blood test.
  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.
  • Make sure children eat healthy, low-fat foods high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C.
  • Remove shoes or wipe soil off shoes before entering your house.”

50

Your Candles May Emit Chemicals

Candle

“Candles contain many volatile organic compounds and omit soot as well as VOCs,” says Steele. The EPA goes on: “Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. They include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors.”

Health effects, according to the EPA, “may include:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
  • Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
  • Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.”

Recomendación: “Soy candles are a healthy non toxic alternative that burn clean and last 50 to 60 percent longer than the average candle,” says Steele. “May older candles made before 2001 contain lead which is volatile once it is burned. Metal wicks not only burn longer but also prevent mushrooming.”

51

Your Old Thermometer Might be a Neurotoxin

termómetro de mercurio

“Older thermometers”—those with the neurotoxin mercury—”within the home leaking vapors can create shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, etc,” says Steele. “It can also lead to damage to the central nervous system.” They’re banned in more than 20 states.

Recomendación: “Most thermometers these days are digital and if not should be replaced.”

52

Your Home’s Humidity Could Make Your Nose Run

Closeup portrait sick young woman student, worker, employee with allergy, germs, cold, blowing nose with kleenex, looking miserable, unwell very sick, isolated on white background

Sudden changes in humidity can cause swelling in the membranes of your nose, leading to a runny or stuffy nose. When the humidity rises outdoors, it can also lead to higher humidity inside your home. Living with a constantly stuffy or runny nose is not only annoying, it can also decrease your ability to focus and can cause sinus infections.

Recomendación: If your home’s humidity has increased, set up a dehumidifier to regulate the air quality. Bring the dehumidifier into the room as you sleep and be sure to follow the cleaning and care instructions for the machine.

53

Your Broken A/C Could Cause a Heat-Related Illness

woman using air conditioner, cooler system remote controller

If your air conditioning system is currently not functioning or if your home is not equipped with an air conditioning unit, you’re at risk for developing a dangerous heat-related illness. Exposure to consistently high temperatures can cause your body to fail to regulate its temperature, resulting in electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. The symptoms you experience may vary, but generally include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Fainting

Heat-related illness is most likely to develop in the elderly, infants, young children and those with chronic medical conditions.

Recomendación: Keep yourself hydrated! According to the Mayo Clinic, men should drink about 15.5 cups of fluid per day while women should consume about 11.5 cups of fluids. Ensure your air conditioning unit is running soundly. If you don’t have a unit, consider installing a window unit to lower your home’s temperature during the summer months.

54

Your Home Could Breed Bedbugs

Bed bug Cimex lectularius at night in the moonlight

While bedbugs don’t carry disease, they can be a nuisance that compromises your physical and mental health. According to the EPA, bed bug bites can cause allergic reactions, which may be as simple as a mark on the skin or as a severe as anaphylaxis. In some cases, bedbug bites can cause secondary skin infections, such as lymphangitis, ecthyma or impetigo (don’t image search those!). It’s also been found that living in a home environment with bed bugs can cause residents to experience insomnia and anxiety.

Recomendación: Search your house for bed bug infestations by looking for rusty or red-colored stains on your sheets or mattress. Check the seams and tags of the mattress for infestations and examine the seams of your couches, cushions and the folds of your curtains. If you find bedbugs, contact a pest control professional immediately to eradicate the infestation.

55

Your Dust Could Give You an Asthma Attack

Broom and dust bunny

According to Dr. Alain Jacquet from Faculty of Medicine, Division of Research Affairs, Chulalongkorn University: “House dust mites are one of the commonest sources of airborne allergens worldwide.” His study goes on: “Not only can these dust mites cause sinus irritation and inflammation, they can also exacerbate the symptoms associated with asthma. If you suffer from even a mild case of asthma, dust particles and the mites contained in these particles may cause you to experience an asthma attack or a more severe case of this respiratory condition. It was also found that the larger dust particles were more prone to causing these asthmatic problems.”

Recomendación: Says the study: “Keep the dust to a minimum in your home by vacuuming and dusting every few days. Bedding and curtains can collect dust and dust mites. Wash these items regularly in the washing machine, if possible. Consider using an air purifier to reduce the amount of airborne dust particles in your home. Keep closet doors closed as much as possible to prevent dust from settling on clothes.”

56

Your Pool Could Be Contaminated

man, personnel cleaning the pool from leaves

“Pools and hot tubs contain a host of chemicals that include disinfectants, algaecides, clarifiers, surface cleaners, defamers, etc.” says Steele. These can lead to skin irritations or worse. (Of course, if you don’t disinfect your pool at all, dangerous bacteria can form.)

Recomendación: “Ozone is a more powerful oxidant than chlorine and leaves no harmful by-products,” she says. Ask your pool center about it.

57

Your Vacuum Cleaner Bag May Be Spewing Allergens and Mold

Vacuum rug

A recent study conducted by the American Society for Microbiology found that vacuum cleaner bags are a “reservoir of bacteria, molds, endotoxins, and allergens.” When a vacuum cleaner is operated, these particles can become airborne, attaching to household items. In some cases, these particles can contain harmful bacteria, including Salmonella and Clostridium botulinum. Exposure to these bacteria can cause a variety of ailments, including gastrointestinal infections.

Recomendación: Empty your vacuum cleaner bag or reservoir regularly, specifically after each use. Ensure the vacuum bag is attached properly. Follow the cleaning instructions in your vacuum cleaner’s manual so you can take it apart and thoroughly sanitize all parts. Be sure to clean the brush roll and internal filters each time you sanitize your vacuum.

58

Your Bath mat Could Be Spreading Athlete’s Foot

modern bathroom with white wash basin

You don’t have to be LeBron James to get this: Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that causes itchy feet, sometimes accompanied by rashes, blisters or dry skin. This common infection is contagious and can be spread through direct contact with the infection itself, or through contact with skin particles left behind on surfaces. If a family member contracts athlete’s foot, your bath mat can be a breeding ground for this infection. Since you’ll more than likely come into contact with your bath mat while barefoot, athlete’s foot can easily be spread to other members of your family.

Recomendación: Ensure your family members are practicing good hygiene, including washing and drying feet frequently and thoroughly. At the first sign of athlete’s foot, treat the infected area with an over-the-counter antifungal spray. Do not use your bath mat until the infection has been cured. Keep your bath mat clean by washing it in hot water with an anti-bacterial detergent in the washing machine. Thoroughly dry the bath mat after each use.

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Your Garage Could Be an Electrical Hazard

Garage storage shelves with vintage objects and equipment

The U.S. Fire Administration identified electrical malfunctions as the leading cause of garage fires. It is common for garages to have faulty wiring or other general electrical issues. This is especially dangerous because your garage may store excess household items, many of which are flammable. If faulty wiring begins to heat up or smolder, a fire can easily start in the garage and quickly spread to the rest of the home.

Recomendación: Older homes are more likely to have garages that are wired incorrectly. Seek the assistance of an electrician and ask for a wire and electrical outlet inspection in your garage. Have any old or incorrect wiring fixed by a professional as soon as possible.

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Your Canned Foods Might Be Full of Chemicals

Canned soup

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) released a recent report stating that 40 percent of canned goods tested still contain traceable levels of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA). While the overall percentage of canned goods containing BPA has decreased, it’s still apparent in canned goods on grocery store shelves throughout the country. This chemical is linked to:

  • Birth defects
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease

BPA is present in the lining of these contaminated canned goods, allowing it to leak into the food and be ingested.

Recomendación: Use fresh or frozen alternatives and avoid canned foods altogether. Examine your canned goods and only use those that are labeled as “BPA Free.” Consult with grocery store employees to ensure the canned goods you’re purchasing are free of BPA.

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Your Shower Curtain Could Make You Sick

Blue shower curtain in the bathroom

PVC shower curtains and liners are popular because they’re waterproof and inexpensive. However, results from a study conducted by the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) found that these liners may contain harmful chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates and organotins. Shower curtains and liners can release these chemicals into the air. Consistent exposure to these airborne toxins can cause negative health effects, including:

  • Respiratory irritation
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Adverse effects on the liver and kidneys
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Loss of coordination
  • Young children, elderly family members and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to experience these negative health effects.

Recomendación: Before purchasing a shower curtain, check the label and ensure it was not made with PVC. If the shower curtain label does not include a list of materials used in its construction, avoid buying it. Look for shower curtains that are labeled as “PVC free” and consider replacing your old curtain or liner if you suspect it was made with PVC.

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Your Cat’s Fur Can Make it Hard for You to Breathe

woman with cat indoors

If you have an indoor cat, your home is riddled with pet dander, microscopic flecks of skin shed by animals with feathers or fur. Even short-haired or hairless cats carry dander, which can easily become airborne and stay suspended in the air, since each particle is lightweight and tiny. They can also easily stick to furniture and other household items. If you have the slightest allergies related to pets, excessive pet dander can make your symptoms worse. You may experience:

  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Itching and/or watery eyes
  • Eczema or skin rashes

Even if your cat no longer lives in the home, it can take weeks or months for the pet dander to subside and your symptoms to clear.

Recomendación: Sorry Garfield! The best way to eliminate pet dander is to remove your cat from the home. After removal, clean the home thoroughly, including couches and bedding. If you cannot remove the cat from the home, keep the animal out of the bedrooms of any household members who experience these symptoms. Keep your cat brushed and clean and vacuum the home frequently.

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Your Bar Supplies Might Lead to “Overpouring”

Two glasses of whiskey, one being filled from a bottle

“What are the things in your home that can make a person sick? Alcohol, first and foremost,” says Dr. Tarek Hassanein from the Southern California Liver Center. “However, not just having the alcohol, but the other aspects that contribute to consumption of it. For example, many people do not measure our drinks, or use standard size shot glasses. By overpouring, you are overdrinking—this means the liver is now working overtime because of the excess. This, combined with poor diet and low mobility, which a lot of Americans see today, are all contributing to this issue.”

Recomendación: “Prevention, attention, and retention are the name of the game when it comes to this. Getting things like proper sized shot glasses, or making sure to take note of how much alcohol goes into a glass is the first step,” says Dr. Hassanein. “Attention is the next facet—this means you are paying attention to your preventative measures you take. Do not falter and pour a drink carelessly, or pick up something at the store that is clearly an unhealthy treat every time you go out. Finally, retention is the final step in the process—this means that you are retaining the new mindset you have of preventiveness, and balance. By practicing these lifestyle changes, it will greatly impact how you not only feel, but how your body operates too.”

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Your Screens May Damage Your Skin

Girl in a dark room on the bed with the phone

“High energy visible light comes from your computers, LEDs, synthetic lights, cell phones, and TVs, and this wavelength penetrates deeper and is more damaging to your skin because the rays reach further down in the dermis—the deep layer of your skin,” says Dr. Wendy Kar Yee Ng, MD, FRCSC. “It is responsible for up to 50% of macular degeneration. This type of light is likely the reason why more children are nearsighted earlier now—from playing too many video games or excessive amounts of screen time. HEV light also causes premature skin aging.”

Recomendación: “If you have an iPhone, you should put it on night shift mode in order to protect your eyes from these rays,” she says. “Certain brands of sunglasses, such as Maui Jim sunglasses, also protect your eyes from HEV light. And some medical-grade sunscreens, such as the ZO line of preventative and therapeutic skin care products, contain fractionated melanin which protects from this wavelength of light. In contrast, standard over the counter sunscreens may only protect against UVA and UVB light.” And above all else: “Minimize your screen time. Protect your eyes and your skin!”

sesenta y cinco

Your Old Carpet May Reduce Your Home’s Air Quality

Worker's Hands Unrolling Carpet On Floor At Home

Even if you vacuum your carpet regularly, if it’s been in your home for a while, it may still be home to allergens, dust mites and dirt. Vacuuming old carpet only eliminates the particles on the surface. However, bacteria and allergens are still present within the layers of the carpet, including the padding. These allergens can become airborne and negatively impact the air quality in your home. Poorer air quality can exacerbate the symptoms of asthma and cause additional health problems, such as allergies or sinus infections.

Recomendación: Replace older carpet with hard surface flooring, such as hardwood or tile, if possible. Eliminate wall-to-wall carpeting wherever possible and update old carpeting every few years. Ensure bedrooms, especially children’s bedrooms, have newer carpeting or hard surface flooring.

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Your Kitchen Towel Could Give You an Infection

Kitchen towels and dishes on a wooden table

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that can survive on surfaces for weeks. It’s commonly found on kitchen towels, furniture or athletic equipment. This bacteria can be spread by contact with the surface. If it’s exposed to a cut, scrape or open wound, MRSA can cause an infection.

Recomendación: Keep your hands clean by frequently washing with antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds each time. Keep any open wounds covered at all times. Wash your kitchen towels with an effective detergent in the washing machine regularly and change them out frequently.

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Your Kitchen Sponge Could Spread Germs

Sponge

Since your kitchen sponge is used to clean up food particles, it’s considered one of the germiest items in your home. Your sponge usually spends most of its time in a wet and dark environment in your sink or kitchen drawer, which is the ideal place for bacteria and mold to grow. Using this sponge to wipe down different surfaces in your kitchen only spreads this bacteria to other places in your home. Depending on the type of bacteria your sponge has, it could make you and your family members sick.

Recomendación: Consider using paper towels or a clean cloth to wipe down surfaces in your kitchen. The cloth should only be used once before it is thoroughly washed and dried or thrown out. If you still plan to use a kitchen sponge, soak it in a solution of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water, or vinegar and water for 20 to 30 minutes between uses. Rinse the sponge thoroughly and allow it to dry before using it again.

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Your Toilet Water Can Make You Sick

hand of a woman closing the lid of a toilet

When you flush your toilet without closing the lid, particles from inside the toilet water can become airborne and land on other bathroom surfaces, such as counters. C. difficile is a bacteria that may be found in toilet water and is one to be most concerned about. It can cause gastrointestinal issues, from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health conducted an experiment to better understand the bacteria omitted by flushing a toilet without a lid. It was found that “surface contamination with C. difficile occurred within 90 minutes after flushing.”

Recomendación: If your toilet does not have a lid, install a new seat that includes a lid. Always close the lid before flushing the toilet and encourage all family members to do the same.

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Your Cutting Boards May Not Be Clean

Cutting boards can be another source of bacteria in your kitchen. If you’re using the same cutting boards to prepare meats, such as poultry, as you are to chop up vegetables or other foods, you can spread bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. coli). If this bacteria is ingested from raw food, it can cause severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea or vomiting. Cut it out!

Recomendación: Have a few different cutting boards available in your kitchen and label them for raw meats, vegetables and bread. Washing your boards in the dishwasher isn’t enough to disinfect them. Instead, soak them in a solution of no more than one cup of bleach or vinegar to one gallon of water for about 30 minutes. Rinse them with hot and soapy water, then place them in the dishwasher for the entire cycle.

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Your Toothbrush Could Transmit Diseases

Toothpaste on toothbrush

Well of course it could! Your toothbrush is stored in a dirty room and then used to clean your dirty mouth. According to researchers Michelle R. Frazelle and Cindy L. Munro: “Toothbrushes of healthy and oral diseased adults become contaminated with pathogenic bacteria from the dental plaque, design, environment, or a combination of factors.” It was found that bacteria contaminated brushes early on in the lifecycle and the contamination increased after repeated use. The bacteria found on these toothbrushes can transmit diseases and spread microorganisms when used.

Recomendación: Don’t share your toothbrush and take a few seconds to rinse it off with water after each use. Store your toothbrush upright and allow it to dry thoroughly after using it. When it’s dry, keep it covered, if possible. Replace your toothbrush with a new one every three to four months.

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There May Be Bacteria in Your Refrigerator

crisper drawer fridge

You may think that the job of a refrigerator is to keep bacteria away. However, the cold environment of a fridge generally just slows down the process of bacteria growth. The more times you open and close the door of your refrigerator, the more it’s exposed to warmer and more humid air. This makes it more likely to grow mold and bacteria faster. If your refrigerator is home to these contaminants, they could easily spread to the food inside, making you or your family members sick.

Recomendación: Use a vinegar solution to wipe down all surfaces inside your fridge, at least once per month or whenever you notice dirt or grime inside. Don’t forget to clean the racks, shelves and drawers thoroughly with this solution. Make sure the refrigerator door handles are also clean and free from food particles. Try not to keep your refrigerator door open for too long when taking items out.

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Fleas Could Give You Typhus

Flea walking on a human skin

If you live in a subtropical environment, such as southern California, Hawaii or Texas, you may be susceptible to flea-borne typhus, or murine typhus. This is a disease caused by the bacteria Rickettsia typhi and spread to humans through contact with infected fleas. Fleas can become infected by biting infected animals, including rats, opossums or cats. If you’re bitten by an infected flea or you rub your eyes with hands that were exposed to infected flea dirt, you may contract this disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms show two weeks after contracting the disease and may include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Body aches
  • Dolor muscular
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Cough
  • Rash (usually shows after the 5th day of illness)

Recomendación: While there is no vaccine to prevent the contraction of flea-borne typhus, you can reduce your risk by eliminating exposure to fleas. Use high-quality flea control products for your household pets. Keep rodents and other wildlife away from your home and yard. Also, use safe insect repellent when going outside.

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Your Garbage Disposal is Breeding Bacteria

basurero

If you use your garbage disposal frequently, it may still have food particles that can easily breed bacteria. When decaying food is left in this wet and dark environment, it’s the perfect breeding ground for mold spores or other types of bacteria, which can easily become airborne. This can produce an unpleasant smell and can attract flies or other bugs to your kitchen sink.

Recomendación: Run your garbage disposal thoroughly with running water to ensure food particles go completely down the drain. Use a brush and bleach solution to scrub as far down into the disposal as you can safely at least once a week.

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Your Dry-Cleaned Clothes May Be Toxic

Hangers with clean clothes in laundry

Some dry cleaning facilities use a chemical called Perchloroethylene (PERC) in their process. This manufactured chemical is considered a volatile organic compound (VOC) and long-term exposure to it can cause health concerns. People with a disease of the heart, liver, kidneys or lungs are usually more susceptible to the negative health effects associated with PERC, including:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Dry and cracked skin

Recomendación: When you first bring home your dry cleaned clothes, unwrap them outside and let them air out for a few minutes before bringing them in. If you notice a strong smell on your dry cleaned clothes, bring them back and ask them to be drycleaned again. Or even better: Find an organic dry cleaner, or avoid dry cleaning if possible and hand wash or use wet cleaning, liquid carbon dioxide cleaning or silicone-based cleaning machines instead.

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Your Dishwasher May Be Growing Fungus

Dishwasher handle

You may notice a black fungus on the seal around your dishwasher door. If so, you may be looking at Exophiala dermatitidis. This is a fungus that grows well in high heat and is resistant to most detergents. With excessive exposure, this fungus can cause pulmonary infections.

Recomendación: Any time you notice this black fungus on your dishwasher’s seal, scrub it away using a paste made of baking soda and vinegar. To ensure the rest of the dishwasher is clean, pour a few cups of vinegar into the machine and run it through a cycle.

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Your Can Opener Might Contaminate Your Food

Can opener canned food

It’s easy to use your can opener to open a can of beans or corn and then simply throw it back into the drawer. However, by reusing the opener without washing it, you could be spreading germs to your food. According to NSF International, a can opener is one of the six germiest items in the kitchen because it usually contains food particles. These particles can allow bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, yeast and mold, to grow. If these bacteria enter your food, it can make you and your family members sick.

Recomendación: Always clean your can opener after each use with warm, soapy water. Allow it to dry thoroughly before placing it back in a drawer. Complete a thorough cleaning once every few weeks using a cotton swab and vinegar to ensure the crevices are free from food particles. If your can opener looks dirty or rusty, replace it with a new one as soon as possible.

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Your Garden Hose May Not Be Safe to Drink From

child drinking from a garden hose

You may have been safe drinking water form a garden hose a kid, but garden hoses these days may be made from materials that make water unsafe to consume. The Ecology Center completed a garden hose study that found PVC garden hoses contained dangerous contaminants, including the following:

  • Lead
  • Bromine
  • Antimony
  • Tin
  • Phthalates
  • Your body can be exposed to these contaminants if you drink or use water from these hoses.

Recomendación: Check the label on your garden hose and look for a warning not to drink from it or a California Prop. 65 warning. This means the hose contains lead and may provide water that is not safe. PVC hoses are more likely to contain these contaminants so purchase a hose made from polyurethane instead. Always run the hose water for a few seconds before using it to ensure the water that has been sitting in the hose is cleared out first.

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Neglected Gas Appliances Can Make You Feel Sick

Turn heat down gas cooktop

According to Dr. Erica Steele, DNM ND CFMP BCND, if you have a malfunctioning, unvented or backdrafting gas appliance, you may be putting yourself at risk. If you have a furnace, stove, dryer, water heater or other appliance that runs on gas and is not functioning properly, your home may be exposed to carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulfur dioxides. These chemicals can make you feel like you have the flu, with symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired vision
  • Ear, nose and throat irritations

Recomendación: Have all gas appliances inspected by a professional annually to ensure they are functioning properly. If one of your gas appliances breaks or doesn’t seem to be working correctly, contact a local repair professional immediately. Keep up with all maintenance for your appliances, as suggested by the manufacturer.

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Your Home Office Could Make You Dizzy

According to the EPA, home office supplies and equipment, including printers, copiers, correction fluids (like white-out) and carbonless copy paper may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can affect the air quality in your home and can have adverse health effects on you and your family members, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nose and throat irritations

While using equipment or supplies that contain VOCs and directly thereafter, the levels of compounds in the air are known to be higher.

Recomendación: Increase ventilation when you use products or equipment that you know may increase VOCs. Keep windows and doors open when using the printer, copier or correction fluid. Follow the manufacturer’s labels for warning and follow the proper directions for use and storage. Always throw away or tightly seal unused products.

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Your Paper Towels May Contain Formaldehyde

Dr. Steele warns that your paper towels may contain formaldehyde, a harsh chemical toxin. While formaldehyde is not toxic when exposed in small amounts, consistently using products that contain this chemical may lead to overexposure. Some people are more sensitive to formaldehyde than others and they may experience irritation of the eyes, nose and throat or an increased tearing of the eyes. In some cases, children are more sensitive to this chemical exposure.

Recomendación: Dr. Steele recommends purchasing green or recycled paper towels that are chemical-free. Check the label on the product to ensure they are 100 percent free of chemicals. You can also use washcloths instead of paper towels to reduce waste.

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Your Hair Dryer Exposes You to Harmful Radiation

Woman drying hair

You use your hair dryer extremely close to your head so it’s concerning that this device may emit harmful radiation. According to Dr. Steele, you are exposed to close excessive electromagnetic fields when you use this common appliance, which can negatively impact your health and wellbeing.

Recomendación: Dr. Steele recommends that you skip using the hair dryer and allow your hair to towel or air dry. You can also place it in a braid to reduce frizz.

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Your Coffee Maker Might Be Full of Mold

coffee maker closeup

According to the 2011 NSF International Germ Study, a coffee reservoir was found to contain 50,585 average normalized microorganisms per 10 square centimeters. These counted microorganisms can include many types of bacteria, such as yeast, mold, Staph or Coliform. Whether you use a classic coffee maker or a “pod-based” machine, the reservoir may not be as clean as you think. Since this area is usually moist and dark, it’s the perfect home for mold and other types of bacteria to grow and thrive. If you ingest these types of bacteria in large, you are at risk for getting sick.

Recomendación: Clean your classic coffee maker or pod-based machine’s reservoir everyday by swirling warm soapy water and rinsing it with clean water thoroughly. Decalcify monthly by running vinegar through the coffee making cycle, then clean water through the same cycle.

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Your Pet’s Accessories Could Give You a Disease

bowl with food for dog

The NSF International Germ Study found that a pet bowl had 473,828 average normalized microorganisms per 10 square centimeters. A pet toy (tennis ball) measured in at having 29,365 average normalized microorganisms per 10 square centimeters. In many cases, the microorganisms found on these pet accessories may contain particles of fecal matter. According to Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, contact with even microscopic pet fecal matter may put you at risk for contracting an enteric disease, such as Campylobacter or salmonella. These diseases affect the intestines and lead to illness.

Recomendación: It’s important to consistently wash your hands, especially after touching any pet accessories or pets in general. Wash your pet’s food and water bowls with soap every day. Keep pet toys out of the home if possible, or replace them once they’re dirty. Never let your pet lick your mouth or open wounds.

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Your Blender Could Have Salmonella

messy blender

Your blender gasket is a hard component to clean and according to the NSF International Germ Study, it may be contaminated with Salmonella, e. Coli, yeast or mold. As a small rubber part that is generally moist, these contaminants find it easy to grow in this environment. Your blender gasket comes in direct contact with the food you eat and if you ingest enough of these harmful bacteria, you may become sick.

Recomendación: Your blender should be thoroughly cleaned every time you use it. Read the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to ensure you are cleaning the machine properly. If your blender components are machine washable, take them apart and run them through your dishwasher. However, it is important to not submerge the base of the blender in water or you may damage the electric components.

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Your DIY Project Could Expose You to VOCs

homeowners decorating their house

The EPA found that many common hobby supplies contained VOCs, which can be harmful to your health. The most common DIY items that were found to contain these compounds include:

  • Paints
  • Solvents
  • Wood preservatives
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Glues and adhesives
  • Permanent markers
  • Photographic solutions

Recomendación: If you plan to embark on a DIY project using materials or products you know may contain VOCs, be sure you are in a well-ventilated area. Keep windows and doors open and increase ventilation as much as possible. Read all product labels for warnings and throw away unused product carefully and as recommended by the manufacturer.

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Your Wrinkle Spray May Have Formaldehyde

Spraying a casual shirt with laundry detergent in spray bottle

Urea-formaldehyde resins are used to stimulate stiffness and Dr. Steele warns these harsh chemicals can be found in wrinkle-resistant sprays and products. Excessive exposure to formaldehyde can cause eye, nose and throat irritation to those who are sensitive to this chemical.

Recomendación: Dr. Steele suggests ditching these chemically-enhanced products and using a steam iron or a clothing steamer that uses water to eliminate wrinkles instead.

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Your Wood Stove or Fireplace Can Threaten Your Air Quality

living room interior with hardwood floors and fireplace

“Wood stoves and fireplaces emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and sulfur dioxides, while also adding heavy load to the air quality,” says Dr. Steele. While fireplaces and wood stoves are helpful for warming up the home and provide a comfortable feel, they can greatly reduce the quality of the air inside the room. This can lead to negative short-term effects, including irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness and fatigue.

Recomendación: If you still want to use an additional heat source in your home, Dr. Steele recommends an infrared heater, which has no effect on air quality. She says: “The new far infrared heaters provide high efficiency with safety while reducing heating costs.”

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Your Bed Is Killing Your Immune System

Mujer sin dormir despierta y cubriéndose la cara en medio de la noche

If your bed is old or uncomfortable and you can’t seem to get a solid sleep in, it could be affecting your health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a good night’s sleep is not only important for your energy level and body function, but also for your immune system. Without sufficient sleep, the body makes fewer cytokines, which are a protein responsible for your immune response. Without these important protein, you are more likely to get sick, especially during influenza season.

Recomendación: Ensure your bed is comfortable and your bedroom provides you with the right environment to invite sleep. Get at least seven to eight hours of solid sleep per night to ensure your body produces enough cytokines to keep your immune system working properly.

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The Food in Your Pantry Has GMOs

According to the Non-GMO Project, GMOs are “living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering.” Most animals, plants and bacteria that are genetically modified are changed so they can withstand the application of an herbicide or insecticide. While the harmful effects to humans are inconclusive, these genetically modified organisms usually are ridden with chemicals from pesticides and should be avoided.

Recomendación: According to Dr. Steele, due to cross pollination, even organic foods may have been tainted. She suggests “avoiding foods with corn, corn flour, dextrin, starch, soy, so sauce, margarine or tofu to greatly reduce your GMO exposure.”

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Your Makeup Bag Is Causing Skin Irritation

Makeup brushes that are used frequently without being washed can breed bacteria. According to Gemma Clare, a holistic makeup and skincare expert, makeup brushes can be riddled with “bacteria and skin pathogens, skin parasites, yeast and fungus.” These contaminants can lead to skin irritations, including “boils, impetigo, pimples and rosacea, as well as infections in the body and loss of vision, and even life-threatening illnesses including meningitis and sepsis.”

Recomendación: Clare recommends paying attention to the expiration dates on your products and throwing them out when expired. She also suggests you clean all makeup brushes with lukewarm water and a brush cleaning solution or a gentle soap once every week.

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Your Houseplants Are Triggering Your Allergies

While houseplants are generally known to contribute to the air quality inside your home, they may also be enhancing your allergy symptoms. According to the EPA, it is important not to overwater your house plants because “overly damp soil may promote the growth of microorganisms which can affect allergic individuals.”

Recomendación: Follow the watering instructions for your specific house plant. Generally, if the soil is dry, you should add water until it becomes damp. However, do not let the water overflow or puddle around the plant.

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Your Air Ducts Are Making You Ill

man examining an outflow air vent grid and duct to see if it needs cleaning

Your home’s air ducts should stay clean, free from mold, pests, moisture and dust. If your air ducts are dirty and grow mold, you and your family members can begin to experience symptoms of allergies, asthma or respiratory illness. When air ducts are filled with dust or mold, these contaminants are distributed throughout the home when the air conditioning unit is circulating air.

Recomendación: While the EPA states that duct cleaning cannot prevent health problems, it may help with the air quality inside the home. If you or your family members are suffering from these symptoms or you can visibly see mold or dust in your or ducts or on your register grills, you should consider getting a professional air duct cleaning.

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Your Remote Control is Spreading Germs

In the NSF International Germ Study, it was concluded that 68 percent of the participating families had yeast and mold on their home’s computer keyboards. Additionally, 59 percent of these participating families had these contaminants on their video game controllers. Coliform was also found in 81 percent of the families’ homes. Remote controls were where five percent of this bacteria was located. Exposure to yeast, mold and Coliform may elicit allergic responses in some sensitive residents.

Recomendación: Use hand sanitizing wipes to wipe down your remote controls, video game controllers and keyboards when they start to look grimey or dirty. Once a month, take apart the controls using a small screwdriver and use a duster to eliminate any dirt. You can use an air duster to clean between the keys on your computer keyboard.

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Your Fridge’s Meat Compartment Can Give You Food Poisoning

Woman putting raw meat in refrigerator

The NSF International Germ Study labeled the refrigerator meat compartment drawer as one of the germiest places in the kitchen. These drawers were found to have Salmonella, E.coli, yeast and mold present. When ingested, these bacteria can cause the symptoms of food poisoning, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Recomendación: Wipe down your fridge daily, especially if you have a spill or notice an item has leaked. If your meat compartment has any types of liquids in it, use antibacterial spray and a paper towel to eliminate it. Every few months, remove all items from the fridge and use a cleaner and paper towels to thoroughly clean all components.

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The Handles in Your Kitchen Are Exposing You to Germs

man touching grill knobs

The same NSF International study also found that the knobs and handles in your kitchen are full of bacteria and germs. The elements that mostly tested positive for Coliform, yeast, mold and staph include:

  • Stove knobs
  • Refrigerator handle
  • Microwave handle
  • These bacteria are easily spread to countertops and the food that’s being prepared in the kitchen. This puts family members at risk for sickness.

Recomendación: Use a food-safe antibacterial wipe to clean your kitchen countertops and appliances everyday, especially before you prepare a meal. Don’t forget to wipe down all handles and knobs with your wipe. Every week, use a disinfectant to thoroughly clean the kitchen.

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Dust Mites in Your Bed Are Affecting Your Allergies

woman sitting in bed using a wireless vacuum cleaner to clean bedding mites

Believe it or not, dust mites can still affect you, even when you sleep. Dr. Steele states that: “Dust mites feed on human skin flakes and can create allergic responses to include common allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, etc.” If your bedroom or bedding is affected by dust mites, you may feel these effects when you first wake up in the morning.

Recomendación: Dr. Steele recommends “wearing a cotton protective clothing layer while sleeping.” She also reiterates the importance of dusting and vacuuming regularly, especially if your allergies are affected by the presence of dust mites. Using a wet cloth to dust furniture before you vacuum can ensure you don’t scatter dust around your home.

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Your Rubber Spatula Could Give You a Foodborne Illness

In the NSF International 2013 International Household Germ Study, a rubber spatula tested positive for three out of five contaminants, including e. Coli, yeast and mold. Since a rubber spatula contains components that can be hard to clean, these contaminants can find a breeding ground on this common kitchen tool. If they are not removed before use, this harmful bacteria could get into food during the preparation process and cause foodborne illness.

Recomendación: If your spatula is dishwasher safe, clean it in the machine after each use. If it’s a two-piece spatula, remove the wooden handle and place both pieces separately into the dishwasher. To hand wash the spatula, soak it in hot, soapy water and scrub off all food particles. Pay close attention to where the wood handle meets the rubber spatula and allow it to dry thoroughly before using it again.

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The Products in Your Garage Could Give You a Headache

Old paint cans in front of a garage

Chances are, your garage is full of automotive and home improvement related products, including oil, gas, paint or other chemicals. If you often find that you get a headache or feel dizzy after spending time in your garage, these products might be to blame. The EPA names these types of household products as sources of VOCs. While exposure to VOCs do not affect everyone, those sensitive to these compounds can complain of headaches, dizziness and nausea.

Recomendación: If you plan to spend time in the garage, keep the doors and windows open, if possible. Keep products closed and sealed when not in use and never mix these products together.

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Your Knife Block is Spreading Allergens to Your Food

The 2013 NSF International Household Germ Study concluded that moist and dark places in the kitchen were the most susceptible to mold and yeast growth. While it may not be the first place you think of, keep in mind your knife block creates the perfect environment for these bacteria to thrive. If you put a knife away while it’s still damp, you’ve essentially contributed moisture to the already dark space of the knife block slit, encouraging these bacteria to grow. Once your knives are contaminated, yeast and mold can easily spread to the food you’re preparing.

Recomendación: Clean and sanitize your knife block once a month. Take all the knives out, then handwash the block in soapy, warm water. Rinse it with solution of one tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of water for about a minute before rinsing thoroughly. Allow all components to dry before putting the knives back in.

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Your Refrigerator’s Vegetable Tray Is Contaminating Your Food

Food in refrigerator
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The same NSF International study also found that refrigerator vegetable trays are likely to contain salmonella, Listeria, yeast and mold. Even if you buy organic vegetables, if you place them in a contaminated vegetable tray, they could make you or your family sick.

Recomendación: Be sure your refrigerator temperature is under 41 degrees and you’re keeping washed vegetables away from unwashed vegetables. Empty and clean your vegetable tray at least once a month with soap and water. Remove rotting vegetables immediately from the tray and thoroughly clean the tray after removal. Y para vivir tu vida más feliz y saludable, no te pierdas esta lista esencial de los 50 hábitos más insalubres del planeta.

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