Pollution: The enemy within
Your home may not be a total sanctuary from health hazards. You keep it as clean as possible and take pride that it comes to up-to-date in maintenance; you spare no expenses in terms of cleaning products. But you may not know that in your home’s keep well habit, you may be exposing the family to serious diseases through the use of those products that keep the home clean and sparkling.
So, what chemicals do your cleaning agents contain? What about the house paint itself which are known to be manufactured sometimes with harmful chemicals that may be terrible enough to cause cancer and other serious diseases.
There are your household appliances, which, if not used with care, might turn out to be enemies of the family. Appliances like television sets, for example. Computers and microwave ovens are no longer conveniences when you breathe in the Electromagnetic Field Radiation (EMF) released by them.
Your nice and smiling neighbours may be a long-term threat because of the smoke from their generating set that they consciously remove away from their compound, but which unknowingly is directed into your home because it is presumed to be far away. It nonetheless feeds you with smoke and makes you feel uncomfortable.
To avoid your young ones and yourself inhaling harmful chemicals, read labels to know what your cleaning product is made of. Manufacturers do advise or give caution of how they are used; read and adhere to instructions. Some homes still prefer the old methods of cleaning instead of exposing the home to harmful chemicals. I like this one that advises the use of vinegar and warm water to clean windows and natural beeswax for furniture.
And maybe you are one of those who cannot tolerate air fresheners, but feel that they are better than unpleasant smells in the home. You can consider the use of essential oils at home and to remove unwanted odour in the bathroom, strike a match-stick.
Dry-cleaning clothes is so convenient, but do so with caution for the dry-cleaning liquid, perchloroethylene, is a known carcinogen and is thought to be toxic enough to cause a miscarriage. For more care, do not store dry cleaned clothes in a car or in the bedroom when they have just been cleaned. Remove them from the wrap and hang outside to make the chemical weak or impotent.
To protect all from the radiation from the television, position yourself so that you sit some 200 cm away from the screen; if you sit far, there is little chance of breathing in EMF. Back them to the wall and do not place a cot at a wall that backs a television set. You may also consider using battery operated clocks or other appliances instead of the electronic one near the bed.
Use plants to purify the air, as some species are known to remove chemicals from the air. Ask your landscape agent or consult our garden expert Sereba Agiobu-Kemmer to guide you.
Open the windows for about one hour every day, first thing in the morning; the air inside is likely to be worse than what you want to avoid outside because of pesticides, cleaning products and airfreshners.
Do not burn plastic containers or magazines, as burning release the poisonous component, toluene. Even the use of disposable napkins should be done with caution or you can choose cotton ones.
Protect your young ones from pollution due to emissions from vehicles, burning, and industrial waste as these can cause lung cancer, pulmonary and respiratory diseases like asthma and bronchitis. When you take a walk outside, do not walk too close to the road to reduce the level of inhalation.
Water is becoming scarce; keep the home safe from water borne diseases. Now more than ever we need to remind you that drinking water can contain chemicals like nitrates which may react to cause circulatory diseases and cancer; pesticides which may cause testicular and breast cancer and endometriosis. Your water may contain aluminum sulphate and toxic algae that causes diarrhea and skin rashes. To bring water pollution to a minimum level, use tap-filtered water.