Is Your House Killing You?

Common Sense Media says

Informative series discusses hidden domestic dangers.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series reveals how mold and pollutants hidden in a home can harm its residents -- and offers solutions to some of these problems.

Violence

The series isn't violent, but some viewers may find the discussions about being poisoned by carcinogens and other substances a little disturbing.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Poisons (like arsenic) and other dangerous toxins are discussed.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids probably won't be too interested in this dry but revealing Australian series that looks at the harmful impact of molds, toxins, and other pollutants in a home. Although it also covers ways to deal with these substances, viewers who are sensitive about environmental or medical issues (and/or their homes) might find it a little alarming. While the show doesn't talk specifically about environmental issues, it does have some subtle pro-green messages.

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What's the story?

IS YOUR HOUSE KILLING YOU? is an Australian series that reveals the unseen health dangers that homes can pose to their owners. Each week environmentalists Peter Dingle and Cedric Cheong visit the home of a family plagued by a variety of medical issues -- like asthma, eczema, and fatigue. After taking samples from the house and surrounding areas, the team runs tests searching for hidden contaminants like mold, noxious chemical fumes, and poisons. Owners are also tested for allergies and contamination levels. Once the problems are identified, the team oversees the home's detoxification and gives the owners concrete advice on how to avoid long-term exposure to pollutants in the future.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The show's title may be a little dramatic, but it certainly sends the message that what you don't see can definitely hurt you. It offers clear explanations about how long-term exposure to unseen contaminants can be the direct cause of a wide variety of conditions, from uncomfortable allergies to life-threatening illnesses. It also examines how household products and chemically treated home renovation materials can contribute to the level of toxins that people are exposed to over time.

While the show doesn't address how costly it can be to decontaminate and/or renovate a home, it does point out that the money spent on doctors and medications to treat contaminant-related illnesses can be reduced and/or avoided if homes are detoxified. It also shows how very basic, relatively inexpensive precautions -- like cleaning homes properly and wearing protective gear when handling chemicals -- can greatly reduce exposure to harmful elements. Bottom line? The information presented here may be enough to motivate homeowners suffering from chronic or inexplicable illnesses to look to their houses for clues.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media addresses environmentalism. Does a TV show specifically have to talk about living “green” in order to have environmental messages? Families can also discuss how their own homes might be impacting their health. What kinds of precautions can you take to avoid pollutants? If you think that there's something in your home that's making someone in your family sick, where can you go for help?

TV details

Cast:Cedric Cheong, Peter Dingle, Petra Schulenberg
Network:Sundance Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of Is Your House Killing You? was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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