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Nicole's 8 Steps to a Healthier Home

In the past 20 years childhood allergies and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have increased by 400%, 1 in 4 people have asthma, breast cancer has more than doubled since the 1960s, the age of puberty is dramatically declining, sperm count has dropped by 50% and IVF is where you go to have children.

Could these conditions be linked to the homes in which we live? YES.

If I was to sum up in ten steps how to create a healthy home, this would be it! 

1.    Take your shoes off before you enter the home as this will significantly reduce the dust load.

2.    Use a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter and motorised head.  Vacuum cleaners that are not fitted with a HEPA filter will exacerbate exposure to allergens like mould, house dust mite and dander by causing them to become airborne. Investing in a good vacuum cleaner is important to establishing a healthy home for children and critical if anybody in the household suffers from asthma or allergies. Read more

3.    Air your home by opening windows as often as you can (unless you live near a major arterial route, near heavy industry or open cut mine or during crop dusting season). A healthy home smells like fresh air!

4.    Reduce the number of chemicals to clean your home. Damp microfibre cloths are great for dusting and to reduce the microbial load in the home. Read more… 

5.    Use the sun to air chopping boards, soft toys, pillows and mattresses, pet bedding and other fabric furnishings on a regular basis. 

6.    Store food and beverages in glass, stainless steel and lead-free ceramics. Avoid plastics, pewter, highly coloured ceramics, ceramics with a corroded glaze and leaded crystal. Read more

7.    Avoid air fresheners, pesticides and artificial fragrances in your home as many are lung irritants that may also contain hormone disrupting chemicals. Read more

8.    Ensure electrical appliances are at least 1 metre away from your bed, favourite couch and any other areas where you spend time in order to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic fields. Read more

9.    Chlorine and fluoride in drinking water are associated with health risks. Use a water filter. Read more

10.  Mould can cause serious health issues. Forget using bleach as it is a food source for some types of fungi. Instead focus on where the moisture is coming from such as roof and plumbing leaks, inadequate drainage, absent or damaged water proofing in wet areas of the home, garden beds butting up against the house, high humidity, flood and storm damage and condensation due to inadequate ventilation. Make sure the exhaust fans in the kitchen, laundry and bathroom are vented to the exterior, not just the roof space. Wipe existing mould with a damp microfibre cloth that has been soaked in an 80:20 solution of white vinegar to water. If the visible mould covers an area in excess of 3 square metres, get it investigated by an accredited mould remediator. Read more

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