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Toxic Home Syndrome causes heart disease, cancer - how polluted is your home?

Toxic Home Syndrome

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(NaturalNews) Many people may enjoy a well-balanced diet and engage in physical activity to stay in shape, but the truth is, that might not be enough to remain healthy. It turns out that simply going about routine activities in the household may jeopardize health; something called Toxic Home Syndrome is to blame.

Quite simply, this refers to air pollution that occurs in one's home, and it happens as people tend to common tasks as basic as doing the laundry or cooking dinner. As bad air continues to circulate, a person is exposed to harmful toxins on an ongoing basis. As it is, over 15 million homes in the United Kingdom alone are considered to have Toxic Home Syndrome, causing people to wheeze, develop nose bleeds and suffer from respiratory problems. Ultimately, devastating health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and asthma may result.(1)

According to a Daily Mail article on the topic, "Air circulating inside contains more than 900 chemicals, particles and biological materials with potential health effects." The rundown of dangers are plentiful. The article states that "Mould spores, pollen, radon, carbon monoxide and dander all lurk within homes, seeping through cracks in walls and floorboards, brought in on clothing or produced by wood burners, gas hobs and detergents used in cleaning."(1)

Toxic Home Syndrome should not be brushed aside with an out of sight, out of mind attitude. Just because they are not seen or smelled, or because ailments don't set in immediately, does not mean people should ignore the problems that are likely in their own homes.

Indoor air pollution causes a multitude of ailments

Professor Peter Howarth, an allergy and respiratory medicine specialist at Southampton University, said, "Toxic Home Syndrome occurs when individuals and families are exposed to a potent mix of airborne pollutants within the home arising from poor ventilation, causing respiratory and skin diseases to occur more frequently."(1)

Particle pollution from the smoke put out by wood-burning stoves, for example, can lead to serious respiratory conditions if it's inhaled in high concentrations. Such exposure, as well as fireplaces and furnaces, can also increase angina for those with heart conditions. Cooking with gas means that the air is polluted with the likes of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and even formaldehyde, all toxins associated with cancers and respiratory issues.(1,2)

Toxins in United States households are problematic too.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):

Biological agents in indoor air are known to cause three types of human disease: infections, where pathogens invade human tissues; hypersensitivity diseases, where specific activation of the immune system causes disease; and toxicosis, where biologically produced chemical toxins cause direct toxic effects. In addition, exposure to conditions conducive to biological contamination (e.g., dampness, water damage) has been related to nonspecific upper and lower respiratory symptoms. Evidence is available that shows that some episodes of the group of nonspecific symptoms known as "sick building syndrome" may be related to microbial contamination in buildings.(2)

Is your home safe? What to look for

In addition to wood-burning stoves and gas stoves, a person should also pay attention to other sources of indoor air pollution such as frequency of humidifier cleaning, pet dander, previous floods, visible mold or carpet that's installed over unventilated concrete.

Regardless of where a person lives (size of home or country of residence) those are just some of the situations worth exploring to assess possible dangers.

To help prevent accumulation of such toxins in the home, or to lessen the severity of them, both Howarth and the CPSC suggest keeping humidifiers cleaned, ensuring proper design of HVAC systems, engaging in routine inspection of dryers and furnaces, fixing visible cracks in the structure and always making sure that there is sufficient ventilation.(1,2)

The World Health Organization estimates that over 4 million people die every year due to household air pollution. They suggest that it's more prevalent among women and children in areas where that demographic spends more time in domestic settings, especially when that time is spent near a hearth.(3)

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://www.dailymail.co.uk

(2) http://www.cpsc.gov

(3) http://www.who.int

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