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It’s Spring: Time to Clean and Inspect

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

By Jason Earle Google+

This has been a strange and unusual spring, whether you’re in the eastern half of the US where it was so warm in March, or in Europe where it’s been abnormally cold. But spring it is, and that always brings to my mind Spring cleaning. It’s the time of year  also to do a thorough home inspection and maintenance drill to make sure our homes are not going to be sick, and make us sick.

I wrote an extensive piece for our magazine, and now is the time to share it with you. I also posted it in the Articles section at 1800gotmold.com. Here’s a snippet:

The warmer weather allows us to open the windows and let the outside in again. During the winter months, we enjoy very little fresh air in our homes. In fact, in the name of energy efficiency, we seek to eliminate any and all infiltration, unwittingly allowing toxins and allergens to build up fundamentally unabated. These particles and gasses are the potential makings of allergies, asthma attacks, sinus infections and general malaise. While it might be great for your heating bill to keep things buttoned up tight, there’s a potentially much greater price to pay: your health.

It’s important to note that many of today’s most prevalent illnesses have been linked to poor indoor air quality. Chronic sinusitis, which affects 37 million Americans, is largely due to mold exposure, according to a 1999 Mayo Clinic Study. Similarly, of the 23 million asthmatics in the country, at least 4.6 million cases are mold and dampness-related according to EPA/Berkeley Labs. A recent Brown University study even showed a strong connection between depression and an indoor environment in which mold and dampness were present.

It’s not just about mold, though. Modern construction materials and furnishings are loaded with chemicals such as formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Over time, these chemicals evaporate, or “off gas,” into the air which you and your family breathe in day and night. That “new home” or “new car” smell is actually comprised of chemicals that we should strictly limit our exposure to, but most of us don’t. In fact, the average American spends 90% of her time indoors. What does one do?

If this interests you, go read the whole thing here. And happy spring!

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