Happy Summer! Bet you didn't know that it was National Safety Month, did you? Well, it is! And because of that, I just wanted to remind you of a couple of quick ways that you can make sure you and your family are living in a safe and healthy home.
Lead- homes built before 1980 may have lead in the paint and homes built between 1970 and 1985 could have lead sodder in the pipes, which can leak into your drinking water. Lead can cause serious problems, especially in young kiddos. The only way to REALLY know if there is lead in your drinking water is to get it tested.. some cities (like Portland) will do that for you for free, so check and see if your city has a similar program. If you do find lead in your water, certain filtration systems can help to remove lead. Also, letting the water run for about 30 seconds before using it, and never using warm water for cooking can help get the lead out of your drinking water.
Asbestos- asbestos can be found in drywall and popcorn ceilings built before 1980 and can cause cancer and lung related problems. If you think you have asbestos in your home, you should have it professional evaluated and potentially removed.
All sorts of other chemicals can be released into your home when you use cleaning products, cook with teflon, bring dry cleaning into your home, bring home anything made of PVC, or bring home new furniture, sheets or products that contain fire retardants or formaldehyde. In short, lots of stuff you find in stores can be toxic for you health. So, research before you buy and buy products that are less toxic. Also, make sure to open doors and windows daily to air out your living space.
Lastly, be prepared. Have working fire extinguishers and know where they are stored. Be ready for whatever emergency could happen where you live. Here in Portland, we are at risk of a big earthquake, so at my house we have a couple of bins full of emergency supplies and food in our garage. Extra water on hand is great too.
So, have fun and be safe. If that doesn't want to make you do the safety dance, I don't know what will! And for those of you too young to know what the safety dance is-- you need to check out youtube. I'm pretty sure that you will not be disappointed.
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