Buying a home or investing in property is one of the most important long-term commitments anyone can make. From finding your perfect house to applying for a home loan and getting it approved, a lot of time and effort is needed. However, once the process is complete and keys in your hand, the hard work is still not over just yet. One of the most overlooked aspects when buying a home is whether the house was built with natural material or material containing toxins that could not be picked up. These toxins pose a long-term health risk and should be removed immediately, that is why it is recommended to pre-purchase a building and pest inspection.
There are various household products that contain deadly toxins. Any kind of building material made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) inside the home is a cause for concern. Examples can be the vinyl flooring, window blinds and glues. Found in polyvinyl chloride are various phthalate esters used as plasticizers, the substance added to plastics to increase their flexibility, durability and longevity. However, medical research has shown that phthalates are possibly linked to endocrine disruption, obesity and the reproductive system. Phthalates along with volatile organic compounds can also be found in certain surface paints, sealants and adhesives that help pollute the air you breathe. Long-term exposure to such chemicals can cause damage to organs such as the liver. Lead is another toxin to look out for and filters into drinking water from PVC-made pipes.
Formaldehyde is a strong-smelling gas that is found in common building materials and home products. It is used in wood-based products such as permanent-press fabrics, plywood, glues and adhesives as well as some insulation materials. Continued exposure to the strong-smelling gas will lead to eye and skin irritation, a burning sensation of the nose and difficulty in breathing which can increase the likelihood of asthma. Australia banned the use of Asbestos in 2003.Inhaling asbestos fibres leads to serious and fatal illnesses including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos can be found in plaster, insulation, boilers, vinyl floor tile, pipe covers, roofing materials, fireproofing insulation, and exterior siding materials.
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