Make your home a healthy home that is designed, built, and maintained to support your family’s health. Here are some easy ways that you can avoid common environmental health hazards:
Avoid tobacco smoke
If you smoke, quit. If you do smoke, don’t smoke in closed areas like homes or cars where others may be exposed to secondhand smoke.
Install a carbon monoxide detector
Carbon monoxide is highly toxic to humans and animals. Installing a carbon monoxide detector protects you and your family from accidental exposure. In addition, don't use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window, door, or vent. Don't run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open. Don't heat your house with a gas oven.
Test your home for radon
Test your home for radon by using a low-cost detection kit. If your home has high levels of radon, take steps to reduce radon levels by sealing cracks and increasing ventilation.
Protect your skin
Wear gloves and protective clothing when using chemicals.
Properly ventilate your home
Use chemicals outside or open a window when using them indoors.
Dispose of chemicals properly
Many common household items contain chemicals that can create environmental hazards if not handled properly. These wastes include old paint, TVs, computer monitors, batteries, fluorescent lights, thermometers and thermostats, waste oil and gasoline, and pesticides. Take these chemicals and more to The Recycling Zone.
If your home has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters, remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected, such as mattresses, carpets, rugs, drywall, insulation, and paper products. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with hot water and detergent. Learn more about preventing problems from mold in homes.
Monitor outdoor air quality
People who are sensitive to the effects of air pollution should monitor the air quality level before going outside. Sensitive people include: the elderly, people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, including adults and children with asthma, bronchitis, and respiratory infections, and people with cardiovascular disease.
Reduce asthma triggers
Asthma triggers are allergens, irritants, or conditions that cause asthma symptoms to worsen. Common triggers, such as dust mites, mold, and tobacco smoke, can be controlled as part of a plan to manage asthma.
Prevent lead poisoning
Lead can be hazardous to health, especially in children. Lead is found in many unexpected places, including inside and outside homes in Dakota County. Learn more about preventing lead poisoning and how to have your child tested.
Avoid illness from food and water
More than 250 known bacteria, viruses and parasites as well as some natural and manufactured chemicals can spread potentially life-threatening illness through contaminated food or beverages.
Follow basic steps to avoid illness from food and water. Report suspected foodborne illness to the Minnesota Department of Health by email or call 1-877-FOOD-ILL (1-877-366-3455).
Report restaurant and food service complaints to the Minnesota Department of Health by email or call 651-201-4500. Report retail food business complaints to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture online or by calling 651-201-6027