Environmental Chemicals

What You Wear, Sleep on, Sit on, or Build, Clean or Paint Your House With is Important to Your Health

Did you know that the air quality in your home is actually more responsible for your overall respiratory health than the pollutants in the air outside?  Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are found in most of the furnishings, flooring, cleaning products, paints, beds, etc. throughout a typical home. In a closed environment like your home, the off-gas will negatively affect your health. Their manufacturing and use creates detectable levels of VOCs in indoor and outdoor air.

In your body, VOCs can lead to neurological, immunological, endocrinological, genitourinary, and hematopoietic problems.

A variety of building materials, toxic glues, thinners, lacquers, fillers, plastics, chemicals, petroleum products, preservatives, sealers, rubbers, etc., especially in new construction, are used in such quantities in the home and office that the term “sick building syndrome” has been applied to individuals who manifest certain symptoms from these toxins. The symptoms include headache; dizziness; disorientation; difficulty concentrating; fatigue; and eye, nose and throat irritation. Other symptoms can include diminished cognition, memory, reaction time, hand-eye and foot-eye coordination, and balance and gait disturbances. Exposure can also lead to mood disorders, with depression, irritability, and fatigue being common symptoms.

VOCs have also been implicated in kidney damage. They have been associated with immunological problems, including increased cancer rates and immunotoxicity. Solvents have been found to lower testosterone and increase infertility, hematological disorders and cardiovascular death rates, rates of asthma and chronic bronchitis, especially in children.

Before you give up, feeling that the magnitude of the problem is too large to tackle, realize that there are steps you can take. Today, there are whole industries dedicated to building “green houses”, offering non-toxic cleaning chemicals, paints, furniture, beds and bedding, building materials, etc. See the links section for a few companies that offer these products.

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