Once an extremely common building material, asbestos is often found in older homes, particularly in shingles, ceiling tiles, and flooring. This durable, fire-resistant material is composed of microscopic fibers. If these fibers become airborne they can be trapped in the lungs, where they can cause a host of health problems. Professional asbestos testing and removal can protect you from this substance's ill effects.
Home has traditionally been viewed as a sanctuary, a place of refuge from the dangers and uncertainties lurking in the outside world.
But as safe and secure as we try to make our homes, hidden perils can sometimes still find their way inside.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as many as 6 out of 10 homes and buildings are actually hazardous to human health.
Consider also that, according to the Greenguard Environmental Institute, most people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, where air pollution levels are typically two to five times higher than they are outdoors.
The primary contributors to poor indoor air quality are furnishings and building materials, which release hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
Because prevention is the first step toward a cure, here we highlight some of the most common sources of indoor health hazards and offer a few practical alternatives that can lessen your family's exposure to household toxins.