(WHAS11) -- Although our homes should be a safe haven away from harm sometimes the buildings we live in can actually cause harm.
Most often it's one of three toxins having a negative impact on a family's health.
The 'big three' causing problems for homeowners all around the country are mold, asbestos and radon. They can all be harmful to the health of your family if not taken care of properly and quickly.
"Generally, mold puts off an odor so you will smell it. Visually, obviously if you are walking throughout your home and you see it. Everyone knows what mold looks like so it's pretty typical that those are the two ways," said Mike Honan, a Mold and Asbestos Abatement Contractor.
Of the three, mold is the only one that homeowners can manage on their own and that's only if you catch it early.
"Then when I had it patched and a few months later found mushrooms in the carpet is when I realized it was a much larger area and it got to the point where it was growing mushrooms then I was more concerned," said Rebecca Shopp, a homeowner who at first thought she had just a minor problem.
Left unchecked mold can destroy a home and make everyone inside sick and radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer in non-smokers.
The colorless, odorless gas accounts fro 20,000 U.S. deaths each year. The EPA estimates 1-15 homes in the states are affected by high levels of radon. Radon detection kits are sold at hardware stores for 25 bucks.
Asbestos was commonly used in buildings prior to the 1970's and removal is only recommended in case of renovation or if the material is falling apart and should only be removed by a certified asbestos abatement contractor.
Make sure to use an independent lab to test the results so there is not conflict of interest or potential benefit to any contractor who may eventually get the job.