The truth is, we often don’t know what sits hidden behind the walls of our homes. In fact, the only way to know what substances are causing us to become ill at home is to check for potential problems and contact someone who can inspect the house. Furthermore, the products you buy may harm you as well. Here’s our guide to the unsafe materials that lurk in your historic home.


Bleach is a great tool to clean with. But when mixed with other products containing ammonia or acids, it becomes poisonous to humans. When exposed to a mixture of bleach and ammonia-laced products, people can experience severe issues like nausea, chest pain, and water in the lungs.

If enough of such a mixture makes its way into the body, it can result in serious problems. For instance, it can cause breathing problems and pneumonia. So, when handling bleach, avoid mixing it with other products that contain harmful chemicals.


There’s a chance your home contains asbestos if builders constructed it before 1970. These are some of the symptoms of asbestos exposure:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Crackling sounds in the lungs

These health issues stem from asbestos exposure and eventually develop into long-term health problems down the line. If you think you have asbestos in your home, contact a professional asbestos inspector to check the home for you.

Natural Gas

Any gas line in your home that springs a leak can harm your home and health. Natural gas powers water heaters, furnaces, and stoves. It also has a rotten egg odor that hangs in the air and travels through the home.

Gas companies add a chemical to natural gas that makes it smell this way. Otherwise, it would be hard to detect since it doesn’t naturally have a scent. So, if you happen to smell rotten eggs, you should immediately be on alert. When a leak occurs, you can suffocate. So contact a gas company if you happen to smell something funny.