Is your home affecting your health?
Do you have a suspicion that your home is making your or your family sick? Do symptoms seem to clear up after leaving the house? Do your pets have allergies?
Clean air is just as important to health as a nutritious diet and clean water, but sometimes the places we live and work expose us to harmful air contaminants that can make us sick. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of an unhealthy indoor environment and take steps towards creating safer places to live and work.
Sick Building Syndrome
The EPA suggests that indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air in cities like Nashville. But what is all that stuff in our air and where does it come from? Common indoor air contaminants include:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) from cleaning products, building materials, furniture, adhesives, lacquers, etc.
- Carbon monoxide and other combustion gases from gas appliances and wood-burning fireplaces
- Particulates from cooking, pet dander, pollen and other outdoor air pollutants
- Radon gas
- Biological contaminants including mold, mildew, and bacteria
- Dust mites
- Waste from cockroaches and vermin
People who live or work in sick buildings often complain of symptoms like:
- Eye, nose, and throat irritation
- Dry cough
- Dry itchy skin and rashes
- Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
- Increased sensitivity to odors
What is a healthy home?
A healthy home is one that is designed, constructed, and maintained in a way that addresses and protects occupant health and well-being. A healthy home mitigates the risk of allergens, pests, radon, and other hazards such as VOCs and asbestoses.
Identifying the root cause
Indoor air quality issues that lead to sick buildings can be the result of poor building design and construction, buildings being operated different from their intended design, unaddressed maintenance issues, or from excessive use of products containing high concentrations of toxic chemicals, like formaldehyde.
At E3, we use our building science background, an array of professional diagnostic tools and testing strategies, and our design experience to help homeowners create a healthy home. Our expert building scientists can diagnose your existing home and find solutions to complicated problems, or assist in the design and construction of a new home with strategies that create optimal indoor air quality.