Home and garden

We spend a lot of time indoors, so it's important to ensure our homes are safe and healthy places to live.

Learning how to safely use the products in your home can help you avoid potential health risks. Health risks can also be present in the air, water or soil in and around your home. They can be inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin.

In this section you'll find information on health risks that may be present in your home, their potential health impacts, and how you can reduce exposure to these hazards.

You can also report an incident involving a consumer product.

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Hazards in your home

Canadians spend a great deal of time indoors. That's why it's important to make sure our homes are safe and healthy places to live.

The basics: protect your home and family

Here are some of the basic things you can do to reduce your family's exposure to hazards in your home.

Avoid second-hand smoke

The best way to protect your family from the health effects of second-hand smoke is to quit smoking and make your home and car 100% smoke-free.

Avoid wood smoke

Some people use wood as their main source of heat, while others have wood stoves as a back-up. But wood smoke contains a number of pollutants that can be harmful to your health.

Keep carbon monoxide out of your home

Each year, Canadians die or become ill because of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Protect your family by following these safety tips and installing CO detectors in your home.

Pollutants from furniture and building materials

Household products like furniture, mattresses, cabinets, building materials, wallpaper, cleaning products and glues can emit gases into your indoor air.

Reduce humidity, moisture and mould

Dampness is one of the most common causes of poor indoor air in homes, classrooms and public spaces, because moisture promotes the growth of mould and dust mites.

Reduce noise from consumer products

Some consumer products make noise loud enough to damage your hearing. Personal stereo systems (like iPods® and MP3 players) with headphones or earphones can be dangerous if played too loudly.

Reduce your exposure to lead

Lead is a highly toxic metal that is found naturally in the earth's crust. Lead was once used in products like paint and gas, but the Government of Canada now restricts its use in many products.

Take the home health quiz

Test your knowledge of common home health hazards in this five-question, five-minute quiz!

Take the virtual house tour

Explore your home to learn how to protect yourself and your family from home health hazards.

Testing your home for radon

Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that can seep undetected into your home and cause lung cancer. Protect your family by testing your home for radon!

Use arts and crafts materials safely

Just because you can buy arts and crafts materials in stores doesn't mean they are free from health and safety hazards.

Use paint strippers safely

When it comes to removing old paint, paint strippers are fast acting, versatile and easy to use. But paint strippers contain chemicals that can harm your health if not used properly.

Use consumer products safely

Every day, you probably use consumer products, like children's toys and equipment, cosmetics, electronics, clothing, and chemicals. But do you know how to use them safely?

Household chemical safety

You probably use many chemical products in and around your home. Chemicals can be dangerous and cause burns, fires, poisonings and explosions.

Electric and magnetic fields from power lines and electrical appliances

Every time you use electricity and electrical appliances, you are exposed to electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) at extremely low frequencies (ELFs). The term "extremely low" is described as any frequency below 300 hertz.

Swimming pool and spa cleaning

People who use your swimming pool or spa can get sick if you don't clean the water properly. Possible illnesses include ear infections, stomach infections, and skin rashes.

Garden and lawn

Dealing with lawn problems

Learn to manage pest problems by following integrated pest management (IPM) principles. IPM emphasizes prevention, and finding the most effective, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective way to manage a pest problem.

How to have a healthy lawn

Like many Canadians, you probably take pride in having an attractive lawn. Find out how to care for your lawn as easily as possible, while reducing the need for pesticides!

Maintaining a lawn

Keep your lawn healthy using good maintenance practices. Grow a healthy lawn by properly fertilizing, liming, aerating, mowing, topdressing, overseeding, and watering.

Starting a lawn

If you're like most people, you probably want to have a healthy-looking lawn. Besides being a great place to spend time, lawns do many things: they filter pollution, buffer temperatures, absorb water, and prevent soil from washing away.

Understanding your lawn's lifecycle

To have a healthy lawn, it helps to understand the nature of the different elements in your lawn, and how these elements work together.

Poison ivy

Poison ivy is a straggling or climbing woody vine that's well known for its ability to produce an oily resin called urushiol, which is a skin irritant that causes an itching rash for most people.

Highlights

Blind cord safety

Keep cords up high and out of reach. Cords on the side, inside, or back of the window covering are a strangulation risk for children.

Measuring your exposure to chemicals

Chemicals are everywhere: in air, soil, water, products, and food. Every day, Canadians are exposed to a number of chemicals that can enter the body through eating, breathing, or skin contact.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical used to make a hard, clear plastic known as polycarbonate. BPA is also used in the manufacture of epoxy resins which act as a protective lining on the inside of some metal-based food and beverage cans.

The safety of triclosan

Triclosan is an ingredient used in a number of cosmetics and personal care products to stop the growth of bacteria, fungus, and mildew, and to prevent odours. It is also used as a preservative in textiles, leather, paper, plastic, and rubber materials.

Environment Health for First Nations and Inuit

At home or out on the land, there are simple steps you can take to keep yourself and your family healthy.

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