Could Your Home Be Making You Sick

This post about getting paranoid and chucking everything out of the home to live in an environmental bubble. I’m rather relaxed in my living space even if there are a few specks of dust or I have not hovered for a day or 2. However, as society gets more and more specific about our living standards, we have to consider the most important of them all: our health. The ways we’re living currently might not be the most conducive to good health. Let’s take a real look at the risks and what we can do to battle them.

One of our stunning vintage tablecloths that was given to us.
My house is like a living museum, most items are vintage (including the dust!).

It’s in the air

Perhaps the most common health concern in any home is the problem of air quality. We don’t think about it as often as we should, given the rising rates of asthma and other breathing conditions. Poor air quality in the home can not only irritate sensitive lungs but also be the cause of dizziness, nausea, headaches and ear, nose and throat irritations.

We simply need to put more effort into purifying our air. Air conditioning is a great place to start. They create airflow, which channels in the fresh air and pushes out allergens from the air. But you have to be concerned about where dust gets clogged up, as well. The HVAC fixtures of the home need to be cleaned regularly.

I love to keep houseplants which are nature’s excellent way of cleaning our air. Houseplants absorb nasty particles in the air and carbon dioxide, and transform the air into a far more pure oxygen- through the process of photosynthesis. Easy house plants to keep in the home include the Spider Plant, Monstera Deliciosa  (Swiss Cheese Plant), Peace Lily and Aloe Vera. These are all rather hardy plants, and from my experience, all thrive on some kind of neglect!


It’s in the water

As concern that’s perhaps just as common is the rule that unwanted moisture can play in the home. For instance, it’s essential to maintain your heating and air conditioning because of the dangers that can be caused by water droplets building in there. For the same reason, you need to make sure you’re not blocking up indoor plumbing so you can inspect for leaks more regularly. Damp and mould can lead to dangers, one being the dangerous legionnaires disease- contracted due to stagnant water. A dehumidifier can be great at extracting any excess moisture from a room as well and should be used often.

Getting any drips stopped will also save you a tonne of money too, in the long run. A steadily dripping tap, tank or shower head is not only a source of old standing water, but that is pennies added to your water bill that soon all add up.

It’s in the chemicals

It might seem counter-intuitive that the stuff we use to make the home a cleaner, healthier environment might be harming us, but it’s not unfounded. Scientific proof has caused bodies such as the Environmental Working Group to be a lot more cautious about household cleaning products. Compounds in said products like dye, ethanolamines, citrus oil and the like can lead to irritation of the eyes, breathing problems and more. When it’s possible, it’s a better choice to use natural or even homemade cleaning products instead. They might not have the same factory-made smell, but the do the same job at much less risk.

We’ve been working hard at trying to reduce the amount of chemicals we use in our house for a while now, and it’s rather shocking to see how many chemicals are needed to create a kitchen cleaning product, when hot water and white vinegar or lemon does just as good of a job… and can even smell better too!

It’s all in your head

One of the most widespread health concerns nowadays is stress. Just because it manifests mostly in your head doesn’t mean that it’s not real and it’s not dangerous. Besides the obvious ill-effects on your ability to enjoy life, it is also linked with poor sleep, physical stress, back pain and more. The home should be a place to put stress aside, so creating a relaxing space where you really can let loose and put away the worries of the world is essential. On the other hand, a cluttered home with little space to simply chill can compound that stress. We tried to halve all of what we own and the progress has been incredible. We still have a long way to go (and trust me, it’s hard with 3 kids and another on the way!) but the less we own, the less we have to clean, dust and manoeuvre around, reducing stress along the way!

We all deserve a home that we can rest in without fear that it’s causing us any ill health. A bit of maintenance from time to time, the right tech, and a few changes in habit can make that a reality.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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