Health dangers lurk everywhere – pay attention when selling

With the onslaught of the “green” movement comes a litany of information, which can either scare the pants off you or alert you to the potentially harmful things that lurk […]

With the onslaught of the “green” movement comes a litany of information, which can either scare the pants off you or alert you to the potentially harmful things that lurk where you live. With the new information you can make healthier choices for you and your family and pets. I think change is a good thing, and the “green” wave is not just about energy conservation. It is also about air quality and water conservation, which both quietly affect real estate sales.

CSP International™ was a forerunner in providing eco audits prior to a property going on the market. International partnered with the Live Green, Live Smart Institute to bring a very credible green education and certification program to the public. Real estate agents and stagers can earn certification in this new marketing edge; it teaches how to help clients market their property more effectively, as well as how to be more aware of the green aspects of your own life.

Here are five harmful toxins, plus solutions and healthier green alternatives. Use this checklist to find out where the dangers are. “Pay it Forward” is the philosophy of CSP™. Please pass the message on; tell three people about these dangers and ask them to do the same.

  1. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. High levels over long periods is dangerous, causing unconsciousness and death. Typical sources are from car exhaust in an attached garage, leaking chimney or furnace, unvented gas or kerosene space heaters, gas appliances, wood stoves, and water heaters. The Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests exposure can be reduced by installing carbon monoxide detectors on every floor (or at least one per household). Stagers and real estate professionals can easily check and recommend this. In addition, ensure gas fireplaces and appliances are professionally checked. Exhaust fans should be vented to the outside over gas stoves. Ensure the seal around the door from the garage to the house is tight.
  2. A recent alert from the Center for Health, Environment & Justice involves a toxic element called phthalates. Check all bathrooms for vinyl shower curtains and liners as they may cointain phthalates and other toxic chemicals that evaporate into the air in the house. The steamy conditions which prevail during showering promote the release of high concentrations of the phthalates (see Researchers found high concentrations in unopened PVC shower curtains purchased at big box stores. The chemicals are linked to childhood asthma, obesity, cancer, and hormone disruption in animals. Organotins, which can affect the nervous, reproductive, and immune systems, were also found in 60% of curtains tested. Additionally, PVC is the least recyclable plastic, which when manufactured releases carcinogenic dioxins into the environment where they rise into the food chain. The greenest solution is to use a curtain made from organic cotton, which has been grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Hemp is also a good option.
  3. Mold and mildew can aggravate allergies, asthma, and other respiratory maladies, and often appear on shower curtains. Be sure to keep the bathroom well ventilated and check for leaky pipes and faucets as they are sometimes the culprit. Dry out the bathroom by opening a window and running the exhaust fan after they shower until the mirrors aren’t foggy. Treat any outbreaks with a solution made from half a cup of borax, white vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide when you wash it. CSP stagers have access to a machine that will remove mold and mildew from property.
  4. Buyers often say the most desired interior feature they look for is freshly painted walls. Make a property more marketable by recommending paint without VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are chemicals known to be toxic as well as a major air pollutant affecting the ozone. VOCs are also found in air fresheners, cleaning products, carpet, cosmetics, and deodorants. Reduce exposure for homeowners and potential buyers using low- or zero-emission products, ensure sufficient ventilation is available during major painting or home renovation projects, and recommend that owners avoid toxic cleaning products. We recommend consideration of the products found at, the profits of which help support Women for Women International.
  5. Permaculture is a time tested process that is an emerging science within the green initiative. Permaculture teaches us how to build natural homes, grow our own food, build communities, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, and catch rainwater. It may be a little much to implement prior to selling a house, but there are some yard items that would make the property more marketable. Pesticide free carries a lure with more than one demographic. Pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and bug spray, and are linked to cancer, nerve damage, and birth defects; they are found in food and are brought into the house on shoes and clothes. Once used on a property they enter the storm systems and forever change the atmosphere. Reduce your exposure by using natural alternatives for bug spray like neem-oil and tea-tree oil, buy organic food, and take your shoes off when entering a house.


Danger photo by Joey Banks on Unsplash
Tomato photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

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About Christine Rae

Christine Rae blends her passion for the staging and decorating industries, her desire for helping people develop their potential, the thrill of training to the presentation of the CSPâ„¢ workshop. She has honed her skills and built her knowledge through extensive training in a variety of disciplines. During the last five years Christine has trained over 1600 people and in 2004 was recipient of an International Staging Award. Christine believes a crucial part of success as a trainer is to keep your hand in the industry you speak and teach about. This is why she continues to work (outside of training sessions) at building her own staging business, and works with a select group of Realtors® . The best business anyone can have is from a referral - it is an honor and privilege to work with you and your sphere of influence. Wellness with Essential Oils: