Dingle Dirt

Reporter: Graeme Butler

Meet the Henheffer's - Len, Sav and the kids. Their average Aussie home is about to be turned upside down by the doctor of dirt - the proffessor of poisons - Peter Dingle ."This is a house you'd expect to see anywhere around australia same type of problems nothing serious but a couple of underlying problems most people ignore until they really get sick"

Thanks for letting me in guys do you know what you're up to not really where shamless we start - well lets look around lets start in the kitchen and head straight for the cuphoards i think that's the best part okay with that.

Kitchen a good place to start cabinet just underneath here got a child proof lock and it's not too bac still got about half a dozen products with toxic chemicals in them - what's teh problem with those? well it's just that we're constantly using these chemicals all the time.

Peter says "95% of australian homes have far too many chemicals that they know nothing about but i'll guarantee they're toxic in their cupboards and we can get rid of those ones move them out" from the kitchen sink - it's on to the laundry cupboard - where even more chemicals are lurking.

This is much more typical of a home a dozen 2 dozen even a few more chemicals you've got piles of it - i was going to throw htem away but i just haven't had a chance - you wouldn't believe that but so many people tell me that i was going to throw em out you go into homes and they'r constantly there and what you don't realise is each one of these has a dozen or more chemicals in it.

Peter Dingle says he recommends the cleaner your grandmother might have used - vinegar... "nice and simple straight forweard low toxicity and it does a lot of the jobs of these other chemicals in here"

But the dangers in your home don't only come in bottles...

"Hi hayley hey watching some tv - what's wrong with this Peter? is there a problem here? look it is you've got a typical television there first of all and then you've actually got a computer screen just hehind and you know it's a small environment you've getting electromagnetic radiation from there you're getting electromagnet radiation from there"

The advice couldn't be simpler - don't sit too close to electrical appliances - or minimise the use as much as you can, "the problem we have in this room is the unflued gas heater it's like every other heater you burn the fuel and it creates gases unfortunately it doesn't have anywhere to go except in the room and that is a major problem"

If you've got an unflued gas heater or even an open fire place they can cause a lot of microscopic dust inside and ill add one on and everyone is aware of this tobacco smoke.

What surprised you? the heater. the heater really surprised me i really didn't think that was a problem at all very shocked about that but the other chemicals i knew that i had there just hadn't got around to sorting those out.

Sav's house fared pretty well - but down the road - Peter Dingle is about to run into his old nemisis - mould!

"Hello - how are you i'm well you've got a mould problem"

Mel has a serious mould problem on her bedroom ceiling -

"look it's obvious itsn't it, there's so much mould up there do you have any heatlh effects from it? i think i started to have some sinus problems definately"

"Mould can generate spores it can generate literally chemical toxins spores can cause alergic reactions so yo ucan have anyone who was an asthmatic or sensitive to mould or can literally have an asthma attack you can break out on skin rashes"

Mould can be caused by moisture leaking in or even just condensation from your breathing in a closed in spaces -"you sleep right under it don't you yeah i do it's pretty scary so that's why i was concerned on what kind of effects it would be haveing on my health as well as my frineds health as well who live here"

Peter Dingle is running some tests at Mel's place to see the source of problem - he also takes some samples to analyse the type of mould. The good news is .. it's not hard to get on top of, "the good thing is it can probaly be cleaned up pretty easy and the solution is just some vinegar"

So here's the checklist for your house

check for water leaks

clear gutters remove mould using vinegar

avoid chemicals you don't really need -

and always de-clutter your home to avoid dust

"People have to be informed about it they have to get the information and say okay what the next step otherwise their health over a long period of time can be seriously compromised we're not talking about a skin reash we're talking about serious health effects over 10 - 20 years time so it's time to act now"

To purchase Peter Dingle's book visit any Big W or Dymocks stores or go to www.drdingle.com