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Our homes are supposed to be a sanctuary, a place where we can escape from the madness of the modern world. A place where we can relax with our loved ones, and enjoy some degree of safety. But we might not be as safe as we think we are at home, and that’s why environmental consulting can be so important.

We get it, though. There are those out there that don’t want to spend the money. They might think that, unless you live next door to a toxic waste dump, everything is just fine. Understandable, but there are potential hazards that can affect you and your loved ones. Read on for 5 tests we strongly recommend having performed in your home.

  1. For homes built between the 1940’s and the 1970’s, many building materials were made from asbestos. This mineral was found to be naturally fire resistant, and was quickly used for insulation, siding, and inside of popcorn ceilings. But a linkage was found between asbestos and increased rates of cancer and mesothelioma. Certified asbestos inspectors are able to test the air quality of a home to determine if an issue exists.
  2. Mold can develop within a house due to high amounts of moisture. This can be a side-effect of catastrophic water damage, an undetected leak, or insufficient ventilation. Excessive exposure to mold spores can cause respiratory issues and allergic reactions, and mold itself can do long-term damage to the structure of your home. Sometimes mold can be easy to find, particularly due to its distinctive and unpleasant odor. But if mold begins growing behind walls or underneath carpets and floors, it can be impossible to detect unless a professional is called in.
  3. For decades, lead was a common ingredient in house paints. It’s highly toxic, and in 1978, the federal government passed legislation restricting its use. However, many houses painted prior to 1978 have lead-based paint. If the paint is accidentally ingested, it can cause severe health problems like brain disorders and damage to the nervous system. With lead paint testing, the paint is initially inspected visually, then samples are taken and specialized equipment is used for more in-depth analysis.
  4. For those who receive their water from a well, periodic testing of the water quality is critical to check the cleanliness and identify any pollutants. Water can become contaminated by arsenic, which can damage the circulatory system, nitrate, which can be harmful to the health of infants, and bacteria, which can spread pathogenic diseases. Water treatment specialists can accurately assess the quality of the water and detect any contaminants.
  5. When uranium decomposes within soil, rock, or water, the gas radon is released. On the one hand, it’s not an issue if it is released outside since it gets quickly diluted by fresh air. On the other hand, if radon is released indoors, particularly during winter when doors and windows are closed, there can be problems. Radon gas is viewed as one of the leading causes of lung cancer, and it has been estimated that approximately 1 in 15 homes has elevated levels of the gas.