Toxic Chemicals Found in Newly Built Homes
Are you in the process of building a new home? Perhaps it’s your dream home. Have you considered how the chemicals being used will affect your health?
The newest trend in the wellness industry relates to healthy homes and is referred to as, wellness real estate. Previously the focus on newly built homes was making them the most highly efficient and maximize energy savings. However, this new modern way of building has lead to new issues regarding lack of ventilation, which negatively impacts the air quality inside the home.
The materials used in newly built homes create another level of concern for the air quality inside the air-tight sealed walls.The most common chemical found in building materials is formaldehyde. It is found in glues that are used in flooring, pressed-wood products such as particle board, plywood, fiberboard, and insulation materials. Unfortunately, many builders do not give the consumer the option of using building materials that do not contain toxins such as formaldehyde so it is important that you raise the question early on whether or not the option is available.
Many researchers have looked into the health effects that formaldehyde can have on the human body. According to the National Cancer Institute, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. Aside from long-term health effects, individuals who are highly sensitive or allergic can have aggravated symptoms from small levels of exposure to formaldehyde. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) states that formaldehyde can cause irritation to the upper respiratory tract, the eyes, skin, and the gastrointestinal tract. They also indicate that long-term exposure has been linked to nose and throat cancer.
Of course, formaldehyde is not the only toxin found in building materials. Other common household materials that contain toxins include paint solvents, carpet, new upholstery, furniture polish and stains, etc.. When building, or renovating a home it is important to do research on what chemicals are present in the products you choose. Today, there are several companies that are making natural, non-toxic, and chemical-free home improvement products. While you may be spending a little more out of pocket for the non-toxic brands, you can think of it as an investment of not only the health of your home, but your overall health and wellness. Americans spend more than 90% of their time indoors, it’s about time we start making the indoor environment healthier.