Sick Building Syndrome is a term that first surfaced forty years ago, long before anyone ever heard of environmentally friendly building materials. The structure was usually an office building, but not always.
The primary symptoms caused by Sick Building Syndrome are irritation of mucous membranes, sensitivity to odors, lethargy or fatigue, and headache, nausea, and dizziness presenting as chest problems, dry coughs, throat irritation, colds, sinusitis and itching eyes, sensitivity to odors, dry or itchy skin, difficulty in concentrating as well as a general drowsiness.
There are several environmental causes for Sick Building Syndrome, one of which points to the materials used in constructing the building. If the structure was built prior to 1980, chances are the contractor did not use environmentally friendly materials and there may be chemical emissions coming from some of the building materials. The fix may be expensive; however, you can significantly improve the indoor air quality by using low emitting building products when making the upgrade.
Building Eco Friendly Houses
Of course, when constructing a new building — whether home or office — to prevent the possibility of Sick Building Syndrome, use environmentally friendly building materials in the wood studs, insulation, plywood, roofing, flooring, cabinets, countertops, paints and stains. If you use traditional building materials in the new construction, all of these items have the potential for emitting VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air.
The construction industry worldwide utilizes approximately three billion tons of unprocessed building materials each year, which places a heavy toll on the earth and environment. Therefore, using such building materials not only contributes to the well being of a person but to the well being of the planet. Eco friendly houses can make sense on many levels – both environmentally and economically.
Some of the earth and eco friendly building products being used today are:
- recycled denim
- salvaged building items
Bamboo, unlike forest lumber, is a renewable resource that grows quickly and can be used for a variety of home building items. Bamboo cabinets and countertops, and decks and flooring can be stained. Indoors, bamboo is used in place of traditional hardwood floors. Outdoors, reinforced bamboo is used in place of plywood.
Cork panels make a durable, soft floor. Cork, which is harvested from the bark of a cork tree about once every ten years without damaging the tree, is a renewable resource, making cork panels ideal environmentally friendly building materials.
Recycled denim is used as insulation in lieu of fiberglass, which is considered a health risk if the tiny fibers are breathed in. Cotton, which is a renewable resource, is used as an eco friendly insulation, and is often recycled from old denim cloth.
All types of buildings are destroyed each day to make room for new construction. Reusable lumber, bricks, stones and even cabinets are salvageable building items left after demolition. You might even find that these eco friendly methods actually significantly reduce building costs.
The various oils in soybeans are processed into environmentally friendly paint, finishes, varnishes and stains, as well as grout.
Wool is an excellent natural resource used to make carpets and rugs in a variety of styles, patterns, and colors. Because a sheep can be safely sheered over its lifetime, wool carpets are also considered environmentally friendly building materials.
One thing you are going to find is that green living isn’t just about what we can do to help our planet, but it is also something which will help peoples over all health. One thing that a lot of individuals don’t understand is that as our planet becomes more and more polluted every day, and the health of the individuals that live in the world is also going to be effected. Here we are going to be talking about a few things that will be able to help both our own health and the planet at the same time.
One thing that more and more individuals should stop using is disposable plastic products as well as disposable Styrofoam, plastics and Styrofoam products are a small number of things that can take thousands of years to decompose. This means that each time someone places a plastic bag or Styrofoam container in their garbage and it ends up in our land fills, we are contaminating the earth. One of the largest culprits are the grocery stores as they use plastic bags now as opposed to paper bags, of course some stores will still enable you to ask for paper bags and if you do use the paper bags be sure you recycle them. Or even better, you could get the reusable canvass totes for your shopping.
You can also start to plant trees as well as other types of plants, regularly to help re-build their population. Our world is consuming a lot more trees every year than we’re planting. If you consider it, if we keep using more trees than we plant each and every year, in time there will be no trees left in the world. For us to keep the tree population where it ought to be, everybody should be planting a minimum of one tree a month. You need to also realize that when there are less and less trees in the world, that also means that the volume of oxygen in our air will also be reduced every year.
One more thing you ought to start doing is to start using as many organic and naturally developed products as you can. The fantastic thing about consuming organic foods is that farmers are not going to need to use as many pesticides and chemicals that wind up in our air, soil and also in the foods we consume. You have to understand that pesticides are a poison to kill insects and when these chemical compounds enter our bodies it is still a poison that can do damage to our health. Then when ever possible, you ought to only be purchasing products which have been made or grown using only organic methods.
Saving our earth in addition to our health is a thing that every single person is accountable for. If everybody was to do their part you would realize that the health of our planet and our personal health would both benefit from these kinds of efforts. Obviously you additionally have to realize that if people don’t start taking care of our planet, in time it will no longer be able to sustain life.