You spend 90% of your time inside and for many, the indoor air is 200% to 500% more polluted than outdoors. Think about it. Your home brings the outdoor air inside, that is already polluted. Then you spray your hair, use air fresheners, fry fish, burn candles and clean your carpets with chemicals, which adds more pollution inside. With tighter houses, much of this pollution remains inside, plus daily, we add to the indoor pollution level.
This has created new words like sick building syndrome (SBS), building related illnesses (BRI) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). The National Institute of Health has said; “Population-level genetic changes cannot explain this trend (increase of autoimmune diseases); thus, environmental factors are strongly implicated. Among the possible environmental contributors to autoimmune disease, air pollution exposure has received very little attention”.
Doctors respond to thousands of patients a day with long-term unexplained illnesses, for which the physicians have no answers. Both patient and doctor become frustrated.
It is not only chronic illnesses we have to worry about. Fine particulate matter is associated with premature death in people with heart or lung disease,nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function and increase respiratory symptoms according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2012, it is estimated that 2.6 million people died from poor indoor air quality, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Many new homebuilders still fail to use ASHRAE 62.2-2013 residential ventilation and indoor air quality standards.
I had one inspection on a brand new home that the couple could not move into. The wife was having severe symptoms when entering the home. However, when she left, her health problems went away. It ended up being the clear coating used on the hardwood floors.
On another inspection, the homeowner became chemically sensitive to the open cell foam used to spray in the wall and on the underside of the roof. Once again, the owner could not move into their home.
A retired gentleman finally built his dream workshop behind his house. It was larger than a two car garage. His builder used spray foam in the walls, used exterior siding inside and paint the interior with exterior paint. The dream workshop had to be torn down and rebuilt using green practices.
By building tighter and tighter homes, we are reducing our energy cost, but increasing our health problems.
So, if you find that you’re always sick, maybe it’s time you checked your indoor air quality in your home.