In our previous post, we covered some of the more prominent health risks that are commonly found in homes across Dallas. These health risks have the capability of causing serious health problems if they are not resolved, so it is crucial to understand what they are and where to find them before buying or building a new home.
Now, we understand that this list is fairly extensive, and the common reactions to discovering how far-reaching these products stretch are either panic or a thickening of the skin, so we’d like to address this head-on. While these products are found all over, there are also many alternative products that can be used during construction that are safe for use. This list will go across the common health risks found in homes and show where they are commonly found.
This is the third instalment in our continuing series on toxic homes. The series will cover the hidden risks, causes, and solutions to living in a toxic home. If you have found this post of use, you may want to read the rest of the series as well.
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VOCs and SVOCs
VOCs and SVOCs (Volatile and Semi Volatile Organic Compounds) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. They are often carcinogenic and most commonly found in substances such as:
- Synthetic foams, commonly used for insulation or sealing
- Paints, both indoor and outdoor. It’s important to note that the EPA regulates the VOCs in paint because of their potential to contribute to outdoor air pollution, or smog, and not because of their direct human health risks
- Glues and caulking
- Floor coverings
- Furniture, especially that which involves plywood
Aldehydes are a class of chemicals, most of which are carcinogenic, that are found both in natural materials and man-made materials. Many aldehydes are hidden in the construction materials such as:
- Plywood and Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
- Particle Board and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
Mold is a furry growth caused by certain types of fungus. We’re sure that you already know what mold is - however, many people do not understand why it is harmful. Different molds can cause anything from cold-like symptoms to, in extreme cases, cancer. On top of the risk of potential illness, mold also generally infers a moisture problem, which can damage your home and its underlying structure.
While mold is not found commonly found in a newly built home, there are some materials that are much more prone to acquiring mold than others. If the materials involved in construction are not mold-resistant, common places to find mold are:
- Anywhere around plumbing
- Cellars or storage
- Underneath sinks
- Rafters or inside walls that have become water damaged
- Around appliances with compressors
- Underneath carpets
- Around windows
- Ceilings with water damage, especially within bathrooms or storage areas
Now that we've covered where these threats are commonly found, join us in our next post for information on how to solve common problems in a new home.