Are Your Home Improvements Harming Your House?

Home ImprovementsIf you are thinking about starting some home improvement projects, a new study released by HealthyStuff.org and conducted by the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Mich. reveals that you might have more to think about than comfort and décor. The study tested 3,300 home improvement products: 1,016 samples of flooring and 2,312 samples of wallpaper. The results are a bit shocking.

Heavy metals and other chemical additives, which include lead, cadmium, flame retardants, tin compounds, and phthalates, were commonly found in residential flooring and wallpaper. In fact, more than half of the flooring samples tested positive for one or more chemical additives. Vinyl flooring was indicated to be the most harmful—containing the highest percentage of detectable lead and being twice as likely to contain hazardous chemicals.
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Discarded Batteries – Toxic Little Time Bombs

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. consumers buy over 3 billion dry cell batteries and 350 million rechargeable batteries each year. Unfortunately, most people simply toss batteries in the trash when they’re dead. According to Rod Muir of the Sierra Club, discarded batteries are “toxic little time bombs.”

Batteries often contain toxic heavy metals like cadmium, lead, chromium, and mercury. When batteries end up in a landfill, these heavy metals eventually end up in our water supply. Continue reading…

Federal Agencies Hold First Healthy Homes Summit

Last week four federal agencies held their first Healthy Homes Summit in Baltimore. The goal of the summit was to promote the building of healthy homes free of lead, chemicals, mold, moisture, and pests.

“Health doesn’t happen in the hospital. It happens at home,” says Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Our goal isn’t to be Big Brother, but people are asking for advice and information.” Continue reading…

How to Prevent Lead Poisoning

Lead is a naturally occurring element used in batteries, solder, ammunition, pipes, and some roofing materials. In the past, lead was used in paint and gasoline. Lead is no longer in paint or gasoline because scientists realized that exposure to lead poses some serious health risks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no safe level of lead in the body. Children absorb lead more readily than adults, and even the smallest amount of lead can lead to learning disorders. At higher levels, lead can damage kidneys and nervous system, and high levels of exposure may cause mental retardation, coma, convulsions, and death. Continue reading…