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The Shawnee News-Star
Healthy Housing Principle #6
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By Sonya McDaniel
Feb. 15, 2013 12:01 a.m.



Keep it Contaminate Free

So what is considered a contaminate?  Just a few contaminants include lead, radon, environmental tobacco smoke, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, pests, etc.  A few that may concern Oklahoma homeowners are lead, radon and volatile organic compounds (VOC).

Lead – if your home was build prior to 1978 it may have lead based paint products or building materials.  The CDC defines lead poisoning as 5 micrograms per liter = very small amount. Very small amounts can do great harm so it is important to reduce lead exposure as much as possible.



  • Make sure to remove and clean up any old, chipping paint.  Seal the area with a non-lead based sealant and repaint.


  • There are a lot of products which contain lead.  To find out visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cgi-bin/haz.aspx


  • Watch items purchased at resale shops and antiques.


  • Be careful since you may be wearing lead!  Some jewelry can contain up to 50% lead!




Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) – control these by making wise choices when choosing home cleaning, maintenance products or any chemical type substance used in your home.  Make sure to use products in a well-ventilated area and as directed on the label for safe use.  Here is a recipe for a simple kitchen cleaner with very low VOC.

 

FRAGRANT KITCHEN CLEANSER

2 tbsp. white vinegar

2 pints water

4 drops essential oil (lavender, tea tree oil, lemon, lemongrass, or rosemary)

Combine ingredients in spray bottle and use as a final rinse after cleaning kitchen surfaces. Store in a cool, dark place.  Recipe taken from the University of Georgia Green Cleaning curriculum

Radon – Although Pottawatomie County is considered to have a low potential for radon it is important to be aware if it is present in your home.  Radon is a naturally occurring dangerous gas that enters homes through soil, crawlspaces, and foundation cracks.  It can be detected with a radon detector which is recommended for homes which have foundation crawl spaces.  There are products homeowners can purchase to remove Radon gases from their homes through the EPA.

Information provided by Dr. Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Housing Specialist – 7 Principles of a Healthy Home Workshop Series.

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