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Is Your House Making You Sick?

Do you have a sick house? Lead paint, pesticides, and pollution can contribute to sick house syndrome. Here are 10 things you can do to keep your house, and you, healthy.

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Children, older adults, and individuals with a chronic illness are particularly susceptible to environmental hazards, says McLellan. If you're a parent, adds Elizabeth Sword, think about your environment from the vantage point of a child. "The more they're exposed when their organ systems are not fully developed, the more risk they have." At the CHEC's web site (www.checnet.org), a "virtual house" tour, a quiz, and "house rules" -- shop smart, ventilate, clean with care, renovate right, keep it out, and clean water -- offer further guidelines for keeping your home as healthy as possible.

Though we may be at higher risk for environmental-related conditions and illnesses than ever before, the good news, says McLellan, is that from a preventive standpoint, much can be done. "If we build, design, and operate our homes in a healthy manner, we can keep a lot of these problems from getting out of hand."

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