Is Your Home Making You Ill? Survey Reveals We May Be Suffering From 'Toxic Home Syndrome'

Why Your Home Might Be Making You Ill
David Stuart via Getty Images

Double-glazing and loft insulation has become de riguer in the fight to conserve energy, but a new survey reveals that we may be putting our health at risk as a consequence.

The YouGov survey suggests that 81% of us could be at risk of a respiratory or dermatological condition due to poor air quality in our home.

“Toxic home syndrome occurs when families are exposed to a potent mix of airborne pollutants arising from poor home ventilation, causing respiratory and skin diseases to occur more frequently”, says Peter Howarth, professor of allergy and respiratory medicine at Southampton University.

Here are Peter's top tips:

Tip 1. Look into different ventilation options such as household mechanical ventilation systems which provide clean air or extractor fans. The bathroom is the most common place in the home where condensation builds up so it is essential that it is properly ventilated to reduce the risk of mould spores growing

Tip 2. Use eco friendly cleaning products - some everyday cleaning products contain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be dangerous for your respiratory health

Tip 3. Consider wood flooring - carpets can harbour dust, dirt, dander, bacteria and cleaning products which can be hard to get out and release potentially harmful substances into the air, worsening your indoor air quality

Tip 4. Dry your washing outside otherwise make sure your windows are open if you have to dry it inside to reduce VOC levels indoors

Tip 5. Take your shoes off at the door so pollen, dirt, soil etc from outdoors is not spread around your home

Here's an infographic that explains further:

To test the health of your home, visit:

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