What Are the Most Common Environmental Contaminants Found In Homes

What homes are supposed to be? Safe is what one could think of. But you could be around different home contaminants. Containing hidden health hazards. 

These pollutants can come from anywhere, like products and materials that were used in home construction. Or the furniture, cleaning supplies, and even the air we breathe indoors. When you prolong your exposure to certain home contaminants, they can lead to serious illnesses ranging from asthma to cancer. 

Why risk it?

Knowing what’s lurking in your home is the first step to creating a healthier home environment.

And professional environmental testing services help you there. To uncover risks specific to your house that you may not even be aware of. 

The inspectors use specialized tests to check for everything from lead in paint and dust to radon in indoor air. The BrickKicker is here to take you through some of the most common home contaminants. And how environmental testing helps in each case. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

Common Home Contaminants Found In Your Home

There are various home contaminants. that you might not know exists in your living space. It could be mold patches or radon gas. Let’s see in detail how these contaminants impact you. And how environmental testing helps you with them.


Mold is one of the most widespread home contaminants. The sneaky spores grow in damp areas and like drywall, tile grout, carpeting, and wood. But you can identify these mold patches by some obvious signs. Such as musty odors, visible growth, often green, black, or white in color, and damp surfaces.

Mold isn’t just the spores. It’s an irritant that can ruin your indoor air quality. It also triggers different health issues like allergic reactions, asthma flare-ups, and other respiratory diseases. 

If you have children or the elderly in your home, they are the most prone to mold hazards and chronic illnesses. Because their immune systems are already compromised. Some toxic types of mold can even cause neurological problems and injuries to organs. 

How Does Environmental Testing Help?

Environmental testing identifies hidden mold problems in your home. The inspectors pinpoint areas of mold growth that usually go unnoticed. A proper and detailed environmental test measures the mold spore levels to guess the exposure risks. And also collect and analyze samples to detect mold. And determine its varieties or types. Based on this information, you can make decisions for your home and for mold mitigation.

Radon Gas 

Radon is an invisible, radioactive gas occurring naturally. It can seep into your home through any cracks and openings in foundation floors and walls. And you know where it gets tricky? You can’t see, smell, or taste radon and still have to face it. Making an indoor quality or environmental test is the only way for you to know if it exists in your home or not. 

If you get yourself exposed to radon for a longer time, it can lead to various health issues. Did you know? It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. 

Let alone the smokers; it can also affect the lungs of non-smokers. 

You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, making testing the only way to know if levels are dangerously high in your home’s air.

How Does Environmental Testing Help?

You should have your home tested for radon through proper environmental testing. It is the only way to go to detect the gas. And should be done in the lowest occupied level of your home. If the inspectors find high levels of radon, they’ll suggest you improve ventilation. Or install a radon mitigation system to reduce the air concentrations.  

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are gasses emitted from certain solids and liquids. These chemicals are used in household products and building materials. VOCs are released as gasses into the air, which you can inhale.

There could be sources of VOCs around you, inside your home. Including paints, varnishes, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, candles, composite wood furniture, carpets, and more. 

Don’t take VOCs easy. They are known to be carcinogens. Their prolonged exposure can cause irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat. And headaches, nausea, and damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.

How Does Environmental Testing Help?

Professional environmental testing can detect the presence of VOCs in your home. The inspectors collect and analyze samples. To identify whether VOC levels and specific compounds are present or not.

This way, you can pinpoint and remove sources of these home contaminants. Based on their findings, they will suggest proper ventilation and air purification systems.    

Flame Retardants

Flame retardants are chemicals added to various consumer and household products. Which makes them more resistant to catching fire. You can find them commonly in furniture, electronics, carpeting, plastics, building insulation, and even some baby products.  

These chemicals can seep out into your indoor environments. And anyone can inhale or ingest them, including children and the elderly. Studies show these flame retardants can cause thyroid disorders, learning disabilities, decreased fertility, and cancer. That’s why young children are especially at risk to them.

How Does Environmental Testing Help?

Since you cannot detect flame retardants by sight, smell, or touch. That’s why you need environmental testing. Only a professional can sample materials in your home. And analyze them for the presence of concerning flame retardants. 

This helps you identify which products contain toxic flame retardants. So you can safely remove or seal them. The environmental testing also monitors their levels in the home. To suggest adequate ventilation and air purification.


Combustibles are any materials or substances that can ignite and burn. They include chemicals, oils, gasses, dust, and fibers. Commonly, households contain combustibles in the form of cleaning solvents, paint thinners, aerosol sprays, propane, kerosene, fabrics, wood, paper, and plastics.

If these combustibles are stored improperly, they can lead to accidental fires and explosions. Putting your home and family at risk. When their fumes and vapors are released into the air, they cause health hazards by inhaling. It also causes dizziness, headaches, and breathing issues. 

How Does Environmental Testing Help?

Specialized environmental testing detects their presence in your home’s indoor air. They collect air samples to identify the levels of these explosive gasses. Like propane along with oxygen content. 

The inspectors use advanced technology like thermal imaging. And can reveal hidden combustion risks in walls and insulation before a fire breaks out. This environmental testing ensures that combustibles are properly handled. And helps control air concentrations through ventilation.  

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, our homes, the places which we consider safe, can have hidden health and safety risks. In the form of environmental home contaminants. From mold and radon gas to VOCs and flame retardants, these pollutants can impact your indoor air quality. And your family’s health if you leave them unaddressed. 

So, step forward and conduct a thorough environmental testing to highlight these home contaminants. To address and mitigate them accordingly. Scroll through our blog section to learn more about inspections.