A Brief History of Chemical Toxins
Until about 35 years ago, indoor air pollution was a very limited phenomenon. Since that time two basic things have changed in the way buildings are constructed. First, thousands of synthetic chemicals have been incorporated into building materials. Second, building envelopes are sealed so tightly that chemicals and occupant-generated pollutants remain trapped inside homes, where they are inhaled into the lungs and absorbed through the skin.
This indoor air pollution can be 10 to 100 times worse than Los Angeles on a bad day...no matter where you live!
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that a major contributor to indoor air pollution is Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These are defined a gases emitted from certain solids or liquids. VOCs included a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands
Examples include but by no means are limited to: paints and lacquers, paint strippers cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers and photographic solutions
The EPA goes on to define some associated health effects caused by VOCs including eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches; loss of coordination; nausea; and damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs included conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.
At the present, not much is known about what health effects occur from the levels of organics usually found in homes. Many organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans.
Unfortunately there are no standards currently for VOCs. But what we can do is examine each product that goes into our living spaces. While this may seem like a daunting task Source 1 Project Solutions, Inc. has done it for you. We are continuously reviewing and researching new and old products to see determine if they are appropriate in install in a non-toxic home.
Feel free to contact us at Source 1 for more information
Source 1 Project Solutions, Inc. is dedicated to helping people design, remodel and build using healthier building materials and processes. We will make every effort to help you choose healthier options; however, our assistance is not specific medical advice for any one person and/or medical condition. For specific medical advice, contact your physician. The information provided by Source 1 Project Solutions, Inc. is for your information; your decision to apply any information provided is your responsibility entirely.
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