1. Health & Lifestyle

7 Household Items that can make you Sick

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi

If you’re experiencing symptoms like stuffy nose, sore throat, headaches, stomach problems etc. you might be surprised to know that the cause may not be from outside but from everyday items around your own home. 

Though it is very important to stay away from people who are sick, and wash your hands frequently, sometimes you need to look closer to your everyday objects as these household items can have serious health effects. 

Household things that can cause sickness:

Your home is not safe from bacteria and germs that could make you ill. Below are most likely suspects, and also the tips to minimize bacteria, viruses and allergens in your home and keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy.

1. Sponges:

  • Sponges are meant to help us clean, but in reality, they are among the dirtiest objects in the home. Because of the moist and dark environment, Sponges are the breeding ground for the bacteria and viruses. When you wash the dishes or wipe down the kitchen counter with a sponge, E. coli and salmonella are spread all over these surfaces, which can cause food poisoning and other illnesses.

  • To keep your kitchen sponges free from becoming bacteria, get in the habit of squeezing water out of it between uses and sanitizing it regularly. Another way to do this is by saturating the sponge and microwaving it for one minute, placing it in the dishwasher. Always replace it at least every two week, or sooner if it smells terrible.

2. Vacuum Cleaners:

  • Vacuuming is considered as one of the effective way to reduce the level of airborne allergens in the home. However, pollen, dust mites, pet dander and other allergens are not effectively contained in an average vacuum filter. These irritants are thrown back into the air and can continue to cause disease and discomfort for you and your family.

  • To avoid this, look for a vacuum that has a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) or S-class filter as these filters can trap up to 99.9% of super fine particles, effectively reducing the numbers of contaminants and pollutants in your home.

3. Bed Sheets & Pillows: 

  • According to various scientific research, the average pillowcase has up to 12 million colony-forming units of bacteria on it after four weeks of not washing. This collection of bacteria is made up of 41.45 percent gram-positive rods, which are dangerous to your health and can lead to antibiotic resistance. Nearly a quarter of the bacteria found in bedding is of the bacilli variety, strains of which are often major contributors to food poisoning.

  • Dust mites; the most common cause of non-seasonal allergies and asthma. It feed on flakes of human skin, which can accumulate deep within your pillows. To reduce the buildup of dust and dust mites and lessen their effects, wash pillowcases at least every three weeks, use zippered, allergen-proof covers underneath the cases, and wash the actual pillows every few months.

4. Doorknobs:

  • Bacteria and viruses can survive on door handles and oter hard surfaces for long hours. To reduce the exposure, you can keep doors open or can tape the latches open to reduce the need to touch doorknobs.

  • Another way is to use a product that is registered with Environmental Protection Agency to clean knobs regularly. As these cleaning products undergo a review process to certify they are effective against any pathogens listed on their labels, such as strep and staph bacteria and cold and flu viruses. There's some evidence to suggest that fewer bacteria stick around on copper knobs and handles.

5. TV Remotes:

  • Everyone in the home probably handles the living room television remote, but it probably is not a part of your regular cleaning routine. According to research published by the American Society for Microbiology, TV remotes were among the most bacteria-laden items in a room.

  • A weekly wipe down with a cotton ball or cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol will make it a bit more sanitary. Choose for a smaller instrument like a cotton swab to help you clean between the buttons. This method works well on home telephones as well.

6. Refrigerator Compartments:         

According to research conducted by Microban Europe, veggie drawers are a particularly bad source of contaminants, hosting up to 750 times the number of bacteria generally deemed safe. It's not just harmless bacteria those drawers are hosting, either; everything from listeria to salmonella to E. coli, both of which can cause serious digestive issues or even death, have been found in veggie drawers. That’s why you should clean your refrigerator on a regular basis.

7. Fragrances and Perfumes:

  • Don’t risk your health just to keep your room smelling sweet and fresh. According to the Research conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reveals that 1,4 dichlorobenzene, a volatile organic compound found in room fresheners, is linked to reduced lung function.

  • Indoor allergy triggers can also contribute to skin irritation, respiratory symptoms and itchy, watery eyes. To reduce the chemicals and allergens in your home, avoid using fragrance diffusers or spraying air- fresheners and also burning scented candles. 

It is impossible to keep your home completely free of allergens, bacteria and viruses, but above discussed are the few simple changes around the house can make a significant difference. 

A clean and Healthy Place lowers stress and contributes to a Positive Outlook on Life!

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Hey! I am Shivam Dwivedi. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

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