Are These 5 Household Chores Making You Sick?

You take pride in your home. Each day, you complete a laundry list of chores to keep everything tidy, clean and in order – or so you think.

Maintaining a clean home is important for your health and the health of your family, but these five chores may actually be making you sick.

1. Vacuuming

Vacuuming is supposed to remove dirt, dander and debris from your carpet. In pursuit of a spotless home, many of us vacuum our homes every single day.

But every time you drag out that noisy machine to clean your carpets, you’re sending airborne particles into the air, including pet dander, dust and mold.

Does this mean that you should never vacuum your floor? Of course not. But you may not need to do it every single day.

2. Laundry

If you’re like most people, you probably do laundry every day – or at least once a week. Laundry piles up quickly, no matter how diligent you are about doing it.

If you have an outdoor clothes line or a tumble dryer, you’re in better shape than those who use indoor drying racks. Drying racks may save on energy costs, but they also introduce moisture into the air.

Bacteria, mold and fungi feed off of that moisture, which can eventually cause respiratory issues. If you must dry your clothes indoors (and not in a dryer), an air purifier can help prevent damp.

3. Cleaning the Bathroom

The bathroom usually gets the most attention when it comes to cleaning. The toilet may be clean, but have you ever stopped to think about other things in the bathroom that may be affecting your health?

Scented deodorants, perfumes, air fresheners and cleaners can cause respiratory issues, like asthma. About 95% of fragrances contain compounds that are actually derived from petroleum.

4. Cleaning Drains

Most of us take our drains for granted. We use them multiple times a day, but we rarely take the time to clean them properly.

Then when things go wrong – the flow gets slower or the drain clogs – we turn to harmful chemical products. Drain cleaners often do more harm than good.

If the clog is really serious, forget pouring all of those chemicals down the drain – which can cause respiratory issues. Call in a professional to snake the drain or use hydro jetting to clear out the clog.

5. Cooking

The kitchen is the heart of the home, but it can also be a dangerous place if you have a gas stove.

Gas stoves release carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde into the air, which is damaging for your respiratory health.

Cooking food at high temperatures can also be harmful to your health. High heat destroys most of the vitamins and nutrients in foods, but it can also create carcinogens. When meats are cooked at high temperatures, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs) form. These chemicals have been found to be mutagenic, meaning that they cause changes to DNA and increase the risk of cancer.

That doesn’t mean you should stop cooking, but cooking at lower temperatures can help prevent this reaction.

David van der Ende is a full-time blogger and part-time graphic design enthusiast. He loves to write about a broad range of topics, but his professional background in both legal and finance drives him to write on these two subjects most frequently.