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Five Most Common Causes of Environmental Illness


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There are many problems with the environment most of us live in. In fact, with pollution and evolving viruses, there seem to be new problems springing up every day. Of these problems, some have much more devastating health consequences than others. The following are the most common environmental issues that often cause people to become sick.


Cigarette Smoke

In the United States and in some other countries, cigarette smoke is not as big of a problem as it used to be, likely because many buildings have banned it.

However, it is still something to watch out for. Ninety percent of all lung cancer cases can be directly attributed to cigarette smoke. Your chances of having a stroke or heart attack increase by breathing in second hand smoke. Avoid areas where people are smoking to best protect your respiratory health.

Gas Ranges and Wood stoves

Hydrocarbons, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and small particles can be given off by wood stoves that are not given the proper maintenance. Respiratory problems are common for children who live in homes that contain a wood stove. If a gas range does not have sufficient venting, it will often produce nitrogen dioxide. This can often result in breathing problems. An electric stove would be a safer, healthier alternative.

Building Materials

Health problems can result when people are exposed to textiles, home improvement products and building materials. Carpet adhesives, insulation and particleboard can all emit formaldehyde. This will often cause irritation of the eyes, inflamed or dry skin, breathing problems and nausea.

In order to prevent this, only products that are environmentally safe should be used. An example of this would be paints that have little or no volatile organic compounds.

Septic Tanks/Pools

If you have a septic tank or a pool at your home, it is critical that you have it cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. An expert from Kamloops Septic Service says this will help you avoid leaks and the health problems they create.

Obviously, septic tanks are full of human waste, so you would expect them to be breeding grounds for disease. However, the water from a swimming pool can become loaded with bacteria too if steps are not taken to clean it properly.

Viruses, Molds, Bacteria and other Biological Contaminants

Stagnant water that is commonly found in ducts, drain pans or humidifiers can often become a breeding ground for molds and bacteria.

This can also happen if water is allowed to collect on insulation, ceiling tiles and carpet. Floors, counters and other household surfaces are areas where viruses can survive. Clean your house on a regular basis to decrease the chances that any of these things cause a problem for you or your family.


As you can see, there are many dangers that most of us never give any thought to. Taking the steps listed above and making a habit out of them can help to ensure that you avoid any illnesses that these contaminants can cause.

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