For the health conscious among us, it's easy to stay vigilant on all the conventional ways we may get sick: germs, dust, pollen, spoiled food and so forth. But there is a strong possibility that your house itself may contain some harmful irritants that can lead to poor health – and you may not even be aware of it.
The likes of asbestos, mold, lead and radon could be around your home and causing some serious health problems, in what the World Health Organization and Environmental Protection Agency call "sick building syndrome." Living in the presence of these contaminants can result in an array of symptoms, including rashes, fatigue and dry cough. A CBS affiliate spoke with Lindsey Jarvis, who, at just 22, is suffering from issues like these.
"I get really shaky," said Jarvis. "I'd have muscle weakness at times and couldn't stand up and an ongoing list."
While battling her illnesses, Jarvis lost 50 pounds in six months, combating bronchitis, nausea, asthma, acid reflux and more. When doctors suggested a home inspection to find environmental reasons for the sickness, the inspector discovered an astronomical amount of toxic mold in the home's basement.
"This [house] had so much mold [the meter] had overload," said Dan Howard, a home inspection contractor. "[The meter] couldn't count how much was there."
The enormous quantity of mold, combined with a series of carbon monoxide and natural gas leaks throughout the property, had wreaked havoc on Jarvis' health. Now her home has been sealed up for cleaning, as the Jarvis family contemplates the next steps.
Don't let your finances or your health be caught off guard like this. Maryland residents should schedule an appointment for a home mold inspection to ensure that their house is safe and healthy to inhabit.