Is Your Home Making You Sick?

1. Your carpets.

Carpets expel a cocktail of volatile organic compounds, including styrene, formaldehyde, vinyl acetate and propanediol, among others, all of which are associated with both minor and major health risks. Styrene, for example, can cause everything from irritation of the skin and eyes to symptoms of depression or altered kidney function. Install undyed, 100 percent wool carpets.

2. Your refrigerator.

Your fridge keeps your food cold and fresh but it can be a huge bacteria trap if we don’t clean up those little spills we have in draws or trays, creating mould that can eventually work its way into your food. If that isn’t enough, the fruit and vegetables that you have in your bottom draws can create a host of micro organisms if left to rot. If that doesn’t give you to clean out your fridge regularly then nothing will.

3. Air ducts.

Heating and cooling systems are a big part of most Australian homes, but your cooling can leave traces of water in your duct work which provides the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to asthma, allergies, headaches and worse. That’s why you should have your air ducts cleaned every 3 years at a minimum.

4. Sinks and tapware.

Your sinks and tapware contain about 100,000 bacteria per sq centimetre, while your toilet only has about 100 bacteria per sq centimetre. That’s because food scraps create the perfect environment for bacteria to succeed, meaning you kitchen could be dirtier than your toilet.

5. Kitchen sponge.

The kitchen sponge is most likely the filthiest item in your home. When you use a dirty sponge on your bench tops, you are basically just spreading bacteria all over your kitchen. Make sure you rinse sponges out thoroughly with hot water and let it dry in a ventilated soap dish. Once a week is a good rule of thumb to throw out the old sponge and bring in the new.

6. Household mould.

Household mould is one of the most dangerous that can contribute to illness, and just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. If you see peeling paint or discolouration on ceilings and walls, or you or a family member are battling a chronic cough, cold or rash, then it might be time to call in a professional.