Beginner: 5 Hidden Dangers in your Home

Man's foot about to step on miniature houseYour home should be the one place where you feel completely safe and secure. Even if you’ve installed a security system, updated fire alarms, and stored emergency supplies, you may still have some hidden dangers present in your home. While they are not easy to spot and can go undetected for years, potential hazards in these five areas need to be managed before someone in your household gets sick:

  1. Paint – Lead was banned from household paint in 1978 but older homes that have been repainted multiple times over the years are still at risk. Lead-based paints have been linked to a variety of health risks including problems with brain development in children. If you live in a house that was built pre-1978, first conduct a lead test at home. If the results appear positive, hire a professional to address the problem.
  2. Mold – One of the most common health hazards found in homes, mold can lie dormant when no water is present and then spring to life at the first drop of moisture or humidity. Mold is difficult to get rid of because it can spread quickly. It has been known to cause allergic reactions, asthma, and other health problems. The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it in the first place. Check for leaks in plumbing and air ducts on a regular basis and pay extra attention to the bathroom and kitchen, as they contain moisture. Get rid of any signs of mold with household bleach.
  3. Wallpaper – Certain wallpapers contain phthalates – chemicals that help make plastics flexible but that are also toxic to humans. These chemicals can cause allergic reactions and asthma. If you believe that your house has this hazard, remove old wallpaper and invest in a non-phthalate version or simply repaint.
  4. Carpet – Older carpets can contain dust mites, toxins, and environmental allergens while newly purchased carpet can contain chemicals applied during production. Carpets take in everything they touch. Because of this, many people prefer tiles or hardwood floors in their homes. To prevent germs from staying hidden in your carpet, clean them on a regular basis with cleaner that can be purchased from Additionally, schedule a deep cleaning every other month or as you deem necessary. Consider replacing old, worn-out carpet with new toxin-free options that are made from natural fibers.
  5. Furniture – Most furnishings are treated with flame-retardant chemicals, which can be toxic and rub off on skin and clothing. If possible, consider investing in “green” furniture, which is made from eco-friendly materials. If this option is too expensive, vacuum and clean your furniture on a regular basis.

If any of the above hazards seem like a realistic threat in your household, contact a professional if you are unsure how to proceed. Be wary of trying to rid your home of these dangers yourself, as they usually require the tools and treatment of a specialist.