Mold: Evicting the Unwelcome Houseguest

Woman Cleaning MoldHave you noticed a strange pungent odor in your home lately? Perhaps you have been coughing, sneezing, or suffering from other allergy-related symptoms and can’t find the trigger? These can all be signs that your home has a mold problem. Before you condemn your home and call a demolition crew, here are a few tips for identifying a mold problem, treating it, and avoiding future issues.

Most mold experts agree that small amounts of mold are present in every home. However, large amounts of mold can cause hay fever symptoms and be particularly irritating to people with allergies, immune suppression, and asthma, according to the CDC.

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Should You Be Worried About Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde SmellsEver opened up a new toy for your kid, or a box of assembly-required furniture, and been knocked over by the smell in the box? After romanticizing about being the first person to breathe in that air since the box left its country of origin, my attention goes to a little voice inside my head that says, “Cough cough – run! Nobody should breathe that stuff in!”

But then I shrug it off, believing that if there really were a danger, my government would put a label on the box or run public service announcements warning me of the danger of breathing in factory air from China.

Turns out we should give pause when opening that box.

A recent study followed formaldehyde release from the unpacking and assembly of self-assembly furniture. Researchers found that unpacking and setting up a 2-door wardrobe increased the formaldehyde concentration in the home in a measurable way. And the formaldehyde levels differed with the finish on the wardrobe, with the unfinished models emitting higher levels of formaldehyde than the highly-lacquered glossy models.

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10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Air Quality

Spring Cleaning Cleaning SuppliesThe beginning of spring is the one time of year that I get super jazzed about cleaning, so I always make sure to take it seriously. I leave no blind un-dusted and no pillow cover un-washed. Dust, dirt and allergens don’t stand a chance in my home.

This spring, you owe it to yourself to enjoy a clean that’s more than dirt-deep. I’m talking allergen-deep. Dust mite-deep. Get down to the nitty gritty and really tackle what’s lurking in your home’s air. With the help of these 10 spring cleaning tips, you can do it without making yourself crazy.

1. Make a schedule. If you have a basement, start there – this room usually has the worst air quality. The next day, tackle germs and bacteria in the bathroom. Move onto the living room on day three, and so on. Even if you live in a 600 square foot apartment like mine, this method helps you stay focused on the task at hand and avoid becoming overwhelmed with the amount of work ahead of you.

bissell steam mop 2. Ditch the store-bought cleaners for a vapor steam cleaner. Typical household cleaners often contain harsh toxic chemicals that can aggravate allergies and ultimately cause health complications. Steam cleaners use pure vapor steam to naturally disinfect and deodorize counter tops, windows, appliances, and upholstery.

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Are You At Risk for Radon Exposure?

Radon Gas Danger Sign
You can’t smell it, you can’t taste it, and you can’t see it—but you may have a serious air quality problem on your hands.

Radon, a cancer-causing gas that can reach toxic levels in your home, is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. Many victims never even picked up a cigarette. And even more frightening is the idea that at this moment, you may not even know you have a problem. That’s why it’s so important to test your home for radon. January is National Radon Action Month and there’s never been a better time to find out if you’re at risk.

Radon is formed when the chemical element uranium naturally decays in soil, rock, and water. As it breaks down, tiny radioactive particles are released into the air. These particles enter and become trapped in your lungs as you breathe, increasing your risk of developing lung cancer.

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LeadCheck Testing Kit Equals Peace of Mind for Your Family’s Health

LeadCheck Lead Test KitIf you were to ask me what I knew about lead a few days ago, I wouldn’t have had much of an answer for you. In fact, I probably would have unsurely stated “I know it’s supposed to be bad for you?” And then regaled you with the story of how my sweet grandmother still has her entire collection of vintage Fiestaware, which yes, is rumored to be bathed in a lead-ridden glaze. The pieces are lovely, and unfortunately, also lead hazards, so they are currently living in boxes.

But a lot changes in a few days. And with the addition of our new EPA-approved LeadCheck Lead Test Kit, I know a lot more about the dangers of lead exposure and lead poisoning. I also know how easy it is now to test your home’s surfaces for this dangerous toxin with an inexpensive allergen test kit like this one. That way, you’ll know when to take action to prevent serious health effects in you and your family.

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