3 Hidden toxins in your home

Mold, asbestos, radon can be harmful to your health

Published On: Feb 11 2013 06:32:00 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 11 2013 05:40:00 AM EST

Mold, asbestos and radon can all be harmful to the health of your family if not taken care of right away and correctly. Some mold issues can be taken care of by the homeowner, but if you are not sure call a Mold Remediation company. If your home has high levels of Radon you will need to consult with a Radon Detection & Reduction contractor and to handle asbestos contact an asbestos removal company.

Identifying these toxins can be hard so if you have any suspicions of them in your home you should call someone to test right away. When hiring, be sure to use an independent lab to test the results so there is no conflict of interest.

 Specifics on the 3 common household toxins:

  1. Mold – Mold is everywhere, and left unchecked, it can destroy your home. Health effects can range from general congestion and eye irritation to shortness of breath and serious mold infections of the lungs. Mold removal can present other dangers from improper ventilation to the mixing of toxic chemicals.

  1. Radon – This radioactive, colorless, odorless gas is second-leading cause of lung cancer, and accounts for 21,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Radon results from the breakdown of uranium inside the earth. It enters the home through cracks in floors and walls and becomes trapped inside, building up over time.


  1. Asbestos – Exposure to asbestos can cause different forms of cancer and scarring of the lungs. It was commonly used in buildings prior to the 1970s because of its fire resistant qualities. Proper removal of deteriorating asbestos is tricky and expensive.

Angie’s six steps to hiring reliable help for any toxic removal:  

  1. Determine if your state requires contractors to be licensed for the work you need done.
  2. Hire only contractors who are licensed and/or certified to handle household toxins, and can prove their qualifications for your specific need.
  3. Determine what steps your contractor will use to ensure the work won’t further spread the problem.
  4. If your contractor doesn’t talk to you about the concerns the toxin poses, doesn’t have a containment plan or isn’t aware of the dangers the work can create, hire someone else.
  5. Get more than one estimate for the work; require follow-up and a guarantee for the work.
  6. Get and check references, using people who’ve worked with the professional before, and check Angie’s List for even more insight.