Help Customers Keep Homes Healthy
April 15, 2013
A new study by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development has found that many homeowners may be unsuspecting victims of medical problems -- ranging from asthma attacks to lung cancer -- caused by components and conditions in their residences.
Researchers say more than 20 million housing units have a lead-based paint hazard, while over 6.8 million homes have radon exposures above the level considered safe.
The problem is that too many homeowners and renters are unaware of the link between their dwellings and their health. Radon exposure, for instance, has no immediate symptoms; and carbon monoxide poisoning can initially present flu-like symptoms. Furthermore, exposure to some toxins may be confused with seasonal allergies.
Researchers assert that a reduction in illness and accidents relies heavily on consumers being vigilant about the dangers in their housing. Nancy Harvey Steorts, a Northern Virginia real estate agent and former chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, remarks, "People spend more time looking at the kitchen countertops than they do at issues that can cause serious health problems. There are so many elements to having a home that's truly safe."
Source: "Many Factors Can Turn a House Into an Unhealthy Place to Live," Washington Post (04/13/13)
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Updated: January 20, 2022