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Angie’s List: Hidden Toxins in Your Home

(WGGB) — Your home should be your safe haven, but sometimes harmful toxins may be present by posing health risks for you and your family.

Maybe you don’t realize this, But there are several potential dangers in your house.

“The common toxins we hear about are mold, radon and asbestos,” says Angie Hicks of Angie’s List.

A common culprit in many households – mold.

Rebecca Shopp says when she first saw it in her house, she didn’t think too much about it.. “I had a company come out and test and they into the crawlspace. I hadn’t gone into the crawlspace and I don’t want to go into the crawlspace. That’s when they found a lot more mold than I was expecting. Once I knew how much there was I was really concerned,” she says.

Experts say if you have less than 10 square feet of mold damage, you can remove it yourself. Otherwise, call a professional.

“It depends on the situation but the majority of the time they should seek some help because once you disturb the mold then the spores tend to spread, so we are trying to control the environment,” says Mike Honan, a mold and asbestos contractor.

Radon is another possible toxin in your house. It’s odorless, colorless, and can actually seep into your home, and it’s dangerous.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

“The best method to collect a sample is a short-term test. It’s the quickest most reliable way that is going to give you a snap shot,” notes Betsie Trammell, a lab manager.

And that’ll tell you whether the level is low or high. From there, you can do further testing.

Asbestos is another bad toxin, most often used in construction materials prior to the 1980′s.

Hicks adds, “So if your house is built before 1980, your home might be at risk and the only way to discover whether you have it is to have your home tested.”

A good thing to do because asbestos can cause different forms of cancer.

If you do get your home tested, make sure someone does the test then sends it to a lab for analysis and have another person perform the repair work. Don’t use the same person for both jobs.

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