Our modern way of living is hurting our health. Just like people, buildings need to breathe. Our homes are so tight, however, that mold, moisture, chemicals and air borne toxins are often trapped inside. Many of the products and furnishings we regularly use are exposing people to dangerous chemicals that are contributing to the increase in asthma and multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). The triggers are hidden since all ingredients are not required to be listed on labels. They are found in:
- Pressed wood building materials and furnishings …the glues contain formaldehyde
- Chemical finishes “off-gassed” from carpets, furniture, fabrics, clothes
- Mold and excessive moisture in buildings due to inadequate ventilation
- Dust and excess static electricity from synthetic products
- Pollen, Pest & Animal Dander, Smoke
- Chemicals and artificial scents and fragrances in cleaning products, laundry products, beauty products and décor such as candles.
Anne Steinemann, a University of Washington engineering professor, published a study (2008) where she analyzed of some popular household items containing perfume and biodegradable contents. She found 100 different volatile organic compounds, some of which can be cancerous or cause harm to respiratory, reproductive, neurological and other organ systems. The problem is that people unknowingly breathe these chemicals and their health can suffer as a result.
Breathing fresh, clean air is vital to optimal health. Take steps to replace synthetic products in your home and workplace with natural alternatives. If you store chemical-based products under your kitchen sink or in the center of your home, move them away. Consciously choose replacements that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When it comes to clothes and fabrics for curtains, upholstery, and carpets, natural fibers are best. They breathe easily and diffuse moisture. They contribute to good health and a sustainable planet. Synthetic fabrics are made from petroleum based products and they also contribute to an increase in environmental dust and static electricity.
Mold in your home needs to be removed. Here is an excellent article from Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation: Fighting Mold. Hire a certified mold expert to have mold removed.
If you would like to learn about Indoor Air Quality, contact the International Institute of Bau-Biologie and Ecology (IBE). There are many online classes, workshops, some short videos and other resources.
If you would like to discuss the best ways to assess the indoor air quality in your home or business, contact me. Although I am not currently doing indoor air testing, l can help you identify the root cause of problems and discuss mitigation approaches.