The Different Gases You May Find in Your Home
Buying a house involves many feelings and responsibilities, but you should always prioritize the safety and comfort of yourself and your family. Unfortunately, high levels of harmful gases can cause serious health issues and conditions. Although there are detectors and tests to measure different types and levels of gases, you should still be aware of the different gases you may find in your home.
Carbon monoxide can come from various sources, including the appliances within your home. Believe it or not, items like grills, fireplaces, furnaces, ovens, stoves, dryers, and space heaters can be the source of excess carbon monoxide. Unless your home has proper ventilation, carbon monoxide can build up and cause issues for you and your family.
CO exposure can lead to poisoning, which may present as flu-like symptoms. You should ensure your home has a carbon monoxide detector since it’s nearly impossible to detect the gas without one.
Formaldehyde is a gas found in many building materials, such as plywood, particleboard, adhesives, insulation, and more. It usually breaks down into the air relatively quickly, but it can still cause issues for many people. Humans will inevitably come into contact with trace amounts of formaldehyde, but larger amounts may cause skin rashes, burning eyes, severe allergic reactions, and breathing issues.
Radon is a gas that occurs from the natural decay of uranium in soil and rocks. Although it may not seem like a harmful gas, it’s actually one of the leading causes of lung cancer. Radon can seep into your home through cracks and gaps in your foundation or walls, and you can’t detect it with any human senses. Although you can’t see, taste, or smell it, knowing how to protect buildings from high radon levels can help guard your friends and family against unsafe exposure.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals commonly used in household items such as cleaning products, cosmetics, detergents, and more. Because they’re in many items you use on a daily basis, they can be difficult to avoid. The symptoms depend on your level of exposure, but in serious cases, VOCs can cause eye or skin irritation, breathing problems, and nervous system damage.
After learning about the different gases you may find in your home, you can prepare yourself and your home for these inconvenient exposures. Although you may not even notice these gases in your house, it doesn’t mean they’re not there; be diligent about installing proper detectors and conducting tests.