A little over a year ago tennis star Vitas Gerulitas went to bed in a friend's pool house on Long Island and
never woke up. Unbeknownst to him, a faulty pipe was spewing a colorless, odorless, highly poisonous gas into the air and with each breath Gerulitas inhaled he got one step closer to death. This gascarbon monoxideis one of the many hidden dangers that could be lurking around the corner in your home. In addition to carbon monoxide, other dangers to watch for include asbestos, formaldehyde, freon and organic pollutants that reside in many of your household products.
Lead has received a lot of press lately but people forget it is not the only danger out there, says Jerry Picaso, president of Gerard J. Picaso, Inc., a residential property management firm in Manhattan. Although the list may seem formidable, you can greatly reduce your risk by developing an awareness of these hidden dangers and keeping an eye on the possible sources in your home.
Banned But Not Banished
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was commonly used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardent until it was banned in the late '80s by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Today, asbestos is most commonly found in older buildings, in pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials and floor tiles.