There are several potential health hazards in the home,. Being aware of these potential hazards and knowing how to avoid them are important for staying safe.
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Moulds are fungi, a group of organisms that also includes mushrooms and yeasts. Moulds are generally found in nature and are carried indoors from the outside, through open windows or doors, on clothing, pets, food or furniture. More than 270 species of mould have been identified in Canadian homes.
Bed bugs are insects that, as adults, have oval-shaped bodies with no wings. Prior to feeding, they are about 1/4 inch long and flat as paper. After feeding, they turn dark red and become bloated.
There are no known cases of infectious diseases being transmitted by bed bug bites. Most people are not aware that they have been bitten and some people are more sensitive to the bite and may have a localized reaction. Excessive scratching of the bitten areas can lead to infection.
Lead is a heavy metal that occurs naturally in the environment. Lead was used extensively in the plumbing industry and has appeared in a wide variety of consumer products including paint, gasoline, lead crystal, solder in food cans and glazes used for pottery and dinnerware. Since the early 1970s the use of lead in consumer products has steadily declined, significantly reducing lead exposure in Canada.