Being a boarding school brat I always felt homesick. Now, as an adult I’ve recently discovered that homes can also make people sick! Yes, that’s right – your home sweet home could be making you and your kids fall sick often – and I’m not talking about just roaches! Things we seemingly take for granted, and wouldn’t think twice about could be making you ill. So now for the million dollar question: is your home making your family sick?
Is your home making your family sick?
There are many factors in your home that are important factors when it comes to your family’s health. Some of them are obvious; the others not so much. Let’s take a look at the most common things that could be affecting your family’s health.
Lead paint has been banned in many countries, and rightly so, because it can be poisonous. However, India is behind when it comes to such regulations and there still many toxic brands in the market. So, the next time you get your house repainted at Diwali or otherwise be sure to opt for lead free or non toxic paint.
From your floor cleaner to the glass cleaner to bathroom cleaner – many commercial cleaning products are nothing but a cocktail of cancer-causing chemicals. They cause eye irritation, headaches, asthma and other breathing problems for kids and babies. Switch to vinegar and baking soda. It’s safe and natural and I promise you’ll never look back!
Plastic containers and lunchboxes
The plastic containers in which we conveniently store our grains and leftover foods are very highly toxic. It’s time to bring back stainless steel, ceramic and glass containers like our mothers used to use. The very lunchboxes in which you lovingly pack your kiddo’s lunch are also known to be toxic. Plastic lunchboxes are notorious for reacting with acidic and hot food. Switch to the good old steel lunchboxes which are not only durable but also safe.
Plastic Water Bottles
PVC or Polyvinyl chloride is a known carcinogen and is present in most plastic water bottles. Avoid these as much as you can and never reuse a soft drink bottle for storing water in your fridge. Stainless steel bottles are the safest as even the best of plastic has been known to break down and leach into drinking water.
Air Conditioner and Coolers
When summer hits us with all its fury, we are sure to take refuge near our coolers and air conditioners. When you use an air-conditioner, it often leaves behind traces of water in its various ducts.
This is the perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria which can cause many respiratory problems like asthma, coughing, and allergies. Get your AC professionally serviced regularly before you turn it on. Your cooler is also a good breeding ground for mosquitoes, as Delhi discovered last year, so be sure to clean it often.
Mixer grinders or food processors
Whichever kitchen work horse you are using to reduce your workload in the kitchen, could also be contributing to your family’s ill health. Buttons on the equipment’s body and the rubber on the blender’s lid – both accumulate and buildup leftover foods and liquids. So the next time you make yourself a delicious summer drink, be sure to separate the lid and rubber when washing to reduce the growth of harmful micro organisms.
Mats and Carpets
Those cute mats lying in front of your bathroom door that you lovingly picked out – could be a breeding ground for germs! Do wash all your house mats, a couple times a month at the least. Use vinegar to disinfect your carpet. Sunning your mats and carpet regularly is also a great idea to prevent germ growth.
I’m sure some of these were pretty surprising finds! Did you ever think your food processor could be affecting your health? So now that you know everything, do a quick check and tell us – is your home making your family sick? How are you going to change the situation?
Anjana Bhartia is a blogger at MommyRepublic.in. Married into the armed forces she enjoys moving all over India with her bags, books and dog in tow! A foodie at heart, she is also a bookworm and a social media enthusiast. She tweets at https://twitter.com/anjanabhartia