10/21/2014

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Angie's List: Testing and cleaning up toxins in your home

LEWISTON, ID - Your home should be your safe haven, but sometimes your home is a harbor for toxins that could affect your family's health.

Angie's List recently reported on three toxins that could be lurking in your home and what to do about them. A common culprit in many homes is mold. If you have less than 10 square feet of mold damage, you could tackle removing that yourself. For homeowner, Rebecca Shopp, she needed to call in a professional.

"I had a company come out and test and they went into the crawlspace,- I had not 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, then I was really concerned," Shopp said.

"There is a minimal level of mold in every house and a lot of times you might find it in your bathroom or your basement," said Angie Hicks from Angie's List. "But, the key here is keeping it at a minimal level and if you find that you have more mold, you want to have it taken care of right away."

"The homeowner in small situations if the mold is not to prevalent then they can do the clean-up themselves," said Mike Honan.
Radon is another possible toxin that could be present in your home, but you can test for that too.

"Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is caused by the breakdown of uranium in the earth and it can actually seep into your home," said Hicks. "So, it's important to have your home tested for radon and if it reads too high, you need to have a mitigation system because if you don't, it can lead to health problems.

"The best method to collect a sample is a short-term test it is the quickest, cheapest and most reliable way and that is just going to give you a snap shot of the radon in your home," said Betsie Trammell. Exposure to asbestos can cause different forms of cancer.

"Asbestos is a harmful toxin and it was most often used in insulation and construction materials prior to the 1980s," Hicks said.
If you are concerned your home has one of these toxins, the first step is to actually have your home tested.

The key here is to have someone test it that is an independent and the test is going to be sent off to a lab to be analyzed. You don't want the same person test it be the person who is actually going to fix the problem.
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