Keep it Clean

How a Dirty Home Affects Your Health

  • It can trigger asthma attacks and/or set off allergy symptoms.
  • It can increase the risk from breathing problems (asthma, coughing, and shortness of breath).
  • It can increase exposure to dangerous chemicals (lead and household cleaners) that can cause poisoning and many other health problems.

How to Know if You Have a Problem

Your home might pose some problems if you see:
  • Dirt or dust on floors, windows, furniture, counters, or curtains
  • Grease or dirt on stove or counters
  • Old food or food wrappings lying around
  • Garbage cans that are not covered
  • Pests and/or their droppings or urine
  • Clutter on floors, furniture, or counters

How to Fix the Problem

  • Clear away clutter. Pick up things that do not belong on the floor, countertops, and furniture, and store them where they do belong.
  • Use safer cleaning products, and clean often.
  • Use a damp mop and damp dust cloth to clean.
  • Vacuum carefully and often. If possible, use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter, which picks up very small particles of dirt.
  • Wash bedding once a week, and use hot water to kill dust mites.
  • Leave your shoes at the door to keep dirt out of your home.
  • Put doormats at each door to trap dirt.
  • Keep pets off beds and out of the bedroom.
  • If possible, replace materials that are more difficult to clean (like carpets) with materials that are easier to clean (like wood or linoleum floors).

For more information:

Norwalk Health Department - Lead Poisoning Prevention
CT Department of Public Health - Asthma
CT Department of Public Health - Indoor Air Quality
CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection - Household Alternatives for Reducing Toxic Products in the Home
CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection - Integrated Pest Management
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home