My Home Is Trying to Kill Me: The Home Death Trap Quiz

By: Brion O'Connor

My Home Is Trying to Kill Me: The Home Death Trap Quiz
Image: Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Some may say that home is where the heart is. But is it actually a potential death trap? Take our quiz to find out, and put your knowledge to the test.
What was the percent change in reported home poisonings with "serious outcomes" between 2009 and 2010?
decrease of 25 percent
increase of 25 percent
increase of 5 percent
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the number of "serious outcome" poisonings increased almost 5 percent.
no change

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What characteristic best describes radon gas?
invisible
odorless
tasteless
all of the above
Radon gas is so difficult to detect because it is odorless, tasteless and invisible.

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What area of your house is most susceptible to radon infiltration?
basement
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that typically enters buildings through a breach in the foundation.
attic
windows

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Long-term radon exposure is most closely associated with which of the following diseases?
shingles
emphysema
arthritis
lung cancer
The airborne particles in radon can get trapped in the lungs, leading to lung cancer.

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Which of the following scenarios can lead to drinking water contamination?
a contaminated source
an outdated municipal delivery system
outdated home plumbing fixtures
all of the above
Water is susceptible to contamination from "cradle to grave," beginning at the source and continuing to the tap.

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Which of the following is NOT considered a viable solution to contaminated water?
bottled water
a professionally installed purification system
boiling water
While boiling water might remove germs from drinking water, it will not remove certain chemicals and heavy metals.
free-standing water filters

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How many houses built before 1940 featured lead paint?
about 33 percent
about 66 percent
According to estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency, roughly two thirds of the homes built before 1940 featured lead paint.
about 80 percent
all of them

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What is the general recommendation for lead paint that is in good condition and not chipping?
remove it immediately
leave it alone
Since lead paint is only dangerous if ingested, and given the expense and delicate nature of removal, experts generally recommend leaving paint in good condition alone.
paint over it

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Why was asbestos such a popular building material when it was first developed?
it's strong and durable
it's heat-resistant
it's a good insulator
all of the above
Asbestos quickly gained favor in the construction business because it was strong, durable, heat resistant and a good insulator.

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Where can you typically find asbestos products in an older home?
floor and ceiling tiles
insulation
roofing materials
all of the above
Asbestos was used in a variety of construction applications, including all of these, plus adhesives, plasters, cement and joint compounds.

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What are the ideal conditions for mold to grow?
warm and dry
dark and damp
Dark, damp areas of the home are the ideal setting for mold growth, which is why mold is a common post-flooding problem.
bright and sunny
none of the above

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How many different kinds of mold have been identified in homes in the United States?
roughly 200
roughly 600
more than 1,000
According to estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 1,000 varieties of mold have been identified in the United States.

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What is an adequate solution for preventing an ongoing mold problem?
remove the mold
remove the spores
remove the source of dampness
all of the above
A dark, damp area will continue to attract mold until all of these steps are followed and the spores and source of dampness are also removed.

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Which of the following is NOT a fire hazard?
an overburdened electrical outlet
inadequate or faulty wiring
automatic shut-off feature on appliances
Outdated electrical systems in older homes often cannot handle the increased demand, even if individual appliances are more efficient. Having an automatic shut-off feature is NOT a hazard.
a full lint vent on a dryer

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What are some of the more common, yet dangerous, items found in a garden shed?
herbicides
pesticides
fertilizer
all of the above
All of these products can pose a significant health risk if not used (and stored) properly.

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When is the risk for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning the highest?
spring
summer
winter
Winter is the most dangerous season -- not only because homeowners are using oil- or gas-burning furnaces, but also because the house isn't properly vented.
autumn

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Which is the best type of carbon monoxide detector to have in the home?
hard-wired detector
battery-powered detector
hard-wired detector with battery back-up
CO detectors are absolutely essential, and a hard-wired model with battery back-up will guard against power outages.
They really aren't necessary.

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On average, how many calls does the American Association of Poison Control Centers receive on a daily basis?
100 per day
11,000 per day
The AAPCC's 57 poison centers fielded 3.9 million calls in 2010, an average of nearly 11,000 per day.
20,000 per day

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What percentage of the poison-related calls that are made to the AAPCC originate from someone's home?
10 percent
50 percent
90 percent
The AAPCC estimates that roughly 90 percent of all poisonings happen at home.
none

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If you're pregnant, it's best to avoid:
air freshener
ammonia
bleach
all of the above
A 2008 study found that babies were 41 percent more likely to develop asthma if their mom had been exposed to chemicals found in bleach, ammonia, air fresheners and other home cleaning products while pregnant with them.

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You Got:
/20
Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty Images

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