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Sick Houses

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Did you know that your house could adversely affect your health? Perhaps millions of homes in the US could be categorized as "sick houses." What's more, that figure could be much higher elsewhere, especially in locales with high humidity that encourage mold.

What exactly is a sick house? It's a home that contributes to or brings about allergies, malaise, migraines, and/or colds. It may affect sleep patterns, as well as a person's personality in extreme situations. It all comes down to the pollution generated by chemicals, pesticides, dust, molds, water quality, and synthetic fabrics, just to name a few examples from our day-to-day lives. And although it doesn't come down to a solitary factor, the pollutants accumulate, wear down our immune systems, and eventually cause indeterminate, yet chronic, illnesses.

Preview the lesson material:

Warm Up: Discuss the question with your partner for five minutes.

  1. When you think of pollution, what comes to mind?

Comprehension Questions: Answer the questions before/after your read the article.

  1. What isn't one of the problems brought about by a "sick house?"
               a. sleep disorders
               b. headaches
               c. coughing
               d. tiredness
  2. What best describes a "sick house?"
               a. a home filled with synthetic fabrics
               b. a home with mold
               c. a home that makes people feel chronically ill
               d. all of the above

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. What do you think of the idea of "sick houses?" Do you believe the problem exists?
  2. What would you do if your home were making you sick? Please explain.
  3. Have you gone through periods of unhealthiness? What triggered the problems?

Download the lesson:

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