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June 03, 1994 - Image 94

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-06-03

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Our window specialists can quote you an un-
beatable price. Call for free home estimate.


BIRMINGHAM, 1705 S. Woodward
SOUTHGATE, 15348 Fort
TOLEDO 536.2900 GRAND RAPIDS 451.4705 LANSING 349.2810

We all know that pollution pervades
our rivers, skies and landfills, but did
you know that your home may also
be a prime source of toxic sub-
A typical house contains thou-
sands of odorless, colorless chemi-
cals — enough to match the dense
smog that envelops Los Angeles.
Before you panic, know that there
are things you can do to make your
home a safer place.
The best strategy is to be con-
scious of what you bring into your
home and read the instructions and
warning labels on all household prod-
ucts and appliances.
Perhaps the most talked about
hazardous substance is radon, an
odorless, invisible radioactive gas that
is emitted by rocks and soil and can
seep into a house through cracks and
openings in concrete slabs, floor
drains and crawl spaces.
Since radon cannot be seen or
smelled, a special instrument is need-
ed to detect its presence. Passive
radon detectors can be purchased
and installed. If your home turns out
to have a high level of radon, a radon
mitigation system can be installed to
reduce the levels.
Another common household tox-
in is asbestos, the fibrous substance
used in building materials. It's typi-
cally found in vinyl flooring, insula-
tion, roofing, shingles and siding and
acoustical ceilings.
Asbestos does not pose a health
risk unless its fibers become air
borne and are inhaled. Asbestos ma-
terial that appears to be in good
shape should be left alone and not
tampered with. lithe fiber looks torn
or crumbled, have it inspected by a
licensed contractor and, if necessary,
have it removed or repaired. Don't
attempt to remove asbestos by your-
Being environmentally conscious
goes beyond just using safe products.
When buying furniture, for instance,
select pieces made from recycled
woods or hardwoods such as oak and
maple, which are more plentiful than
softer woods. You may also want to
consider alternatives to wood, such
as wicker or bamboo, which don't de-
stroy trees. If possible, try to avoid
furniture made of particle board or
plywood as these products are treat-
ed with formaldehyde.
You may want to choose wood
flooring or tiles over carpeting. new
carpeting is known to emit vapors
called volatile organic compounds
that have been linked to respiratory

problems and allergy-lice symptoms.
Abetter idea is to use washable area
If you insist on wall-to-wall car-
peting, buy "low emitting' carpet and
unroll it in the garage at least 24
hours before installing it. Also use
tacks instead of glue and keep the
room well ventilated for several days
to allow vapors to dissipate.
Perhaps one of the easiest ways
to create a healthy indoor environ-
ment is to adorn your house with
greenery. A house filled with plants
not only looks nice, but also helps
keep air fresh and oxygen rich.
Recent studies suggest that
household plants may even help ab-
sorb common toxins.Here are some
tips for maintaining a healthy, dust-
free home:
*Vacuum carpets and upholstery
at least once a week to remove dust
and soil.
* Maintain good air circulation in
all areas of the house, particularly in
the kitchen and bathrooms, to avoid
growth of mold and mildew.
* Routinely clean air duct vents
and change the filters on heaters and
air conditioners periodically.
* Vacuum and turn over bed mat-
tresses once a month to eliminate
dust mites.
* Use a treated cloth to remove
dust from all indoor surfaces at least
once a week.
* Keep animal dander at bay by
brushing and bathing your pet on a
regular basis. deep clean your pet's
bed at least once a month, and more
often during warm months.
* If possible, keep the relative hu-
midity in your home at or below 35



Private Pilot, a monthly magazine
for the serious owner/flyer of single
engine and light twin engine aircraft,
recently polled its readers for their
favorite overnight stop. Their top an-
swer was a Michigan favorite, Grand
Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Readers voted Grand Hotel into
first place, with one reader com-
menting that Grand was "one of the
best hotels in the country."
The island offers a fully paved and
lighted 3,500 foot runway that ac-
commodates both charter flights and
private planes.
For reservations, call 1-800-33-


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