Articles

New Home Chemicals

In 2001, a phenomenon hit the news that had been largely hidden until that time. Drywall, imported from China and used in new home construction, was releasing sulfur compounds into the air. The toxic gasses – carbon disulfide, hydrogen sulfide and carbonyl sulfide – were generated by the drywall itself. The high sulfur content of the gypsum was reacting with moist air and releasing these chemicals. The Consumer Product Safety Commission got involved, and finally, in early 2012, a settlement has been reached. However, this example was just the visible tip of a huge iceberg, a gourmet menu of problems with new home construction and the materials used. And homeowners were under the mistaken impression that a high quality furnace air filter would help – it doesn’t. Only a carbon air Read more [...]

Indoor Air Quality

Our modern lifestyles bring us some amazing gifts. Among these are the high tech homes that are sealed against weather and temperature changes. With insulation, high tech thermal windows, gaskets on our doors and a host of other tricks, we’ve turned our drafty, energy wasting homes into comfortable and efficient environmental forts. The downside of this boon is that air flow between the inside and outside is very restricted. It has to be so that expensive heat (or, in the summer, cold) isn’t lost. Which brings us to the root problem... The quality of the air we breathe The US Environmental Protection Agency is not tasked with regulating indoor air quality for homes. Still, the topic is enough of a concern that they published two different guides (1st and 2nd edition) to help citizens Read more [...]

Asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally. It is composed of silicon in glass-like threads. The properties that make it dangerous are also the properties that made it useful in construction and manufacturing. Primarily, asbestos fibers are inert. They will not naturally degrade from chemicals, sunlight or even high heat. This is also why they are so dangerous when inhaled. Because the human body cannot break down the fibers, they can accumulate in the lungs, causing irritation and eventual damage. Asbestosis and mesothelioma are two of the serious consequences of chronic exposure to asbestos. Asbestosis is a progressive lung disease caused by the physical damage and scarring that the sharp fibers can cause. Mesothelioma is a type of cancerous tumor that is triggered by exposure to asbestos. Read more [...]

Poor Air Quality

Living in a large building or perhaps even working within one could potentially expose you to extremely poor air quality, dubbed by the World Health Organization simply as sick building syndrome, which is a culmination of several different ailments that can affect the quality of air your body takes in, resulting in light-headedness, nausea, and potentially life-threatening breathing ailments.  As people from both the business and consumer side of this disease sound off and point fingers, little tends to be done to actually correct the situation until someone's life becomes compromised or, if ongoing treatment isn't sought, lost.  Here is more information to let you, the consumer, know more about what is sick building syndrome and what it can actually cost you in the long run. Although many Read more [...]