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Smarter Living: Health hazards of wood floor upkeep

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Part of maintaining your home may require sanding your wood floors. However, it's not just the dust that could be harmful, but also what's found inside those wood planks.

In today's "Smarter Living," WNCN's medical expert Dr. Kevin Campbell explains why you may want to leave that project to a professional.

"It's harmful and toxic so we contain it to our dust containment systems. They are double HEPA filtered," said Janar Tsaro of Green Step Flooring.

The HEPA filters capture about 98 percent of airborne wood dust.

"Hardwood floor finishing has been a nightmare for years; the dust, the fumes the mess, toxic polyurethane smell."

That's why Tsaro (t-sarrow) started his company. They specialize in dust-free floor sanding. It's greener, healthier and it captures chemicals you don't want to inhale.

"The dust that is created when the floor is sanded actually produce a real health hazard; anything from cancer to respiratory infections to allergic reactions," said Dr. Kevin Campbell.

"We may see coughing, sneezing, irritation of the eyes, runny nose, red irritated eyes and the most lethal ones are certainly the associations with these cancers, even non-Hodgkins lymphoma has been associated with this dust" Campbell said.

Campbell says health issues can occur when molds and fungi that live on the boards and chemicals used in wood preservatives are spread into the air.

The doctor says that for those with bad asthma, the dust can be life-threatening.

"It can be particularly hard on children because if they have an active immune system they may react to (the dust)," Campbell said.

Ginny Grau has two children.

"I didn't want a lot of dust in the air for them to breathe them in," she said.

That's why she went with the "greener" option of dust-free sanding.

The doctor said it's worth it to go green.

"I would invest the extra time and energy and money in the dustless floor sander for my family because I think it's probably worth it in terms of protecting your health," he said.

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