Motherhood [Download PDF]
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“Homemaking is surely in reality the most important work in the world.”
– C.S. Lewis
You might be wondering why a property company is writing about motherhood. Our recent Healthy Environments report highlighted many aspects of a domestic environment that can have an impact on adult health. Since many of Secret Agent’s clients are mothers themselves, we thought it would be interesting to look at health again, this time with an emphasis on prenatal life and risks that expectant mothers should be aware of in the domestic environment.
There is plenty of research to suggest that the environment an infant is raised in has life long implications on their future health. Newer research shows that our external environments can impact the unborn baby in more troubling ways than you would expect.
Secret Agent decided to put together a report to assist expectant mothers in finding a safe and comfortable home for their newborn. We’ve divided this report into the following household concerns: water quality, lead content, air pollution, plastics, noise, backyards, pesticides and electromagnetic radiation. Every mother and father should know what to look out for when searching for their family home.
Many new mothers welcome their baby into a family home that is often an older style property. Whilst Secret Agent loves the character, renovation potential and value that these kinds of homes offer, caution should be taken especially if you are pregnant. In addition to the sort of flooring and presence of any vinyl materials, the type of paint on the walls should also be investigated.
Properties built prior to 1970 will most likely have lead-based paint on the internal surfaces. Even if the walls have since been repainted, the window frames, doors, skirting boards, exterior railings and kitchen or bathroom cupboards may not have received the same treatment. Paint that is flaking is a particular problem, but it is the invisible sources of lead that poses the greatest risk.
Damaged or disturbed lead paint, through a future renovation or a recently completed one, creates a lead hazard in the household. If the paint is not handled or removed properly, the lead dust and paint chips can accumulate in carpets and in the garden.
Here, lead can remain for many years without you realising it, as you happily watch your baby learn to crawl on the carpet or in the backyard. Lead contaminated soil can turn into toxic dust in summer, potentially affecting your neighbour’s children too. Further, vegetables can absorb the lead from the soil very effectively. In this instance, your home grown organic produce may not be any better for you than what you can buy from the supermarket.