Wellness is more than absence of disease, and a healthy home that truly nurtures one’s health is far more than a clean house with 5 star energy rating.
Our homes are a reflection of who we are. Every area of our lifestyles – what we eat, drink, touch, wear, what we use to build, clean and furnish our homes – is directly linked to our state of health and wellbeing.
Current research has shown strong environmental links to many prominent health issues including:
- Allergies - Asthma and respiratory problems
- Recurrent colds and flu - Depression and anxiety
- Headaches and migraines - Insomnia and sleep disturbances
- Electrical sensitivity - Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
- Chronic fatigue - Autoimmune diseases
- Eczema and dermatitis - Learning and behavioural problems
- Many forms of cancers - Hormonal problems and infertility
According to Building Biologist Nicole Bijlsma, author of best-selling book Healthy Home, Healthy Family ‘in the past 30 years childhood allergies have increased by 400%, 1 in 4 children have asthma, breast cancer has more than doubled, sperm count has dropped by 50% and there is a 400% increase in testicular cancer’.
Could your home or workplace be making you sick? The unfortunate truth is yes. Read more about the top sources of indoor pollution here.
What is Building Biology?
Building Biology is a field of work promoting the use of healthy building principles to improve living and work spaces and the health of people who occupy them.
Post World War II, houses and buildings were erected quickly and cheaply as a means to rebuild Germany. After many people living and working in these houses and buildings soon became noticeably ill, and it was discovered that commonly used building materials and certain methods of construction were causing these health problems, now commonly known as ‘Sick Building Syndrome’. Sufferers commonly notice changes to their symptoms and health when moving from one building to another, and often symptoms improve when away from home or work.
Building Biologists address the home as a living organism, considering the home as the ‘third skin’- the second being our clothing. Building Biologists investigate potential health hazards in the built and surrounding environments, addressing factors like;
♣ electromagnetic radiation from nearby power lines, phone towers, smart meters, WIFI, household appliances and building wiring;
♣ poor indoor air quality from dust and mites, allergens, poor ventilation, heating and cooling systems, airborne germs, pollens, grasses and toxic mould
♣ household chemical exposure from cleaning and personal care products, fragrance and perfumes in air fresheners, pesticides and toxic off-gassing from synthetic furnishings, carpets and building materials.
♣ Water quality, proper building design, non-toxic and eco-friendly materials.
The problems created by “sick buildings” are complex, but there’s no need to be overwhelmed!
Check out next months blog for the top ways to curb indoor pollution in your home or workplace.