Beyond Green Building
Creating Healthy Living Through Healthy Homes

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Beyond Green Building is dedicated to supporting healthy living through the building of healthy homes.  A majority of homes built within the past 30 years have given little thought to the impact synthetic building materials have on our health.  Homes have been built with the goal of sealing them tight so they are more energy efficient.   What has not been considered is how an extremely tight home without proper ventilation traps those toxins and creates an unhealthy environment. 

Research indicates that most people spend about 90% of their time indoors. Emissions given off by chemicals in our homes are ingested, absorbed or breathed into our bodies potentially producing poor health. The EPA ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental dangers to the public.



Formaldehyde
What toxins could be lurking in your home and having a detrimental effect on your health?   I am sure you recall the liquid preservative, formaldehyde used in your high school biology class. When you burn methane, formaldehyde is produced as an intermediate product of combustion.  It is a carcinogen.  Did you also know that it is used in pressed wood products that are used in the construction of our homes?  Those materials emit formaldehyde toxins into the air we breathe inside our home.   Several studies have been done that show that routine Formaldehyde exposure puts you at higher risk for cancer.


Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
How many things in your home are made of plastic or vinyl?  PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is an inexpensive plastic that is used to make many things from vinyl flooring, plastic pipes, to house siding.  The production of PVC often uses a phthalate plasticizer which makes PVC softer and more malleable.  Phthalates mimic human hormones which is very concerning for human health, particularly on reproduction.  Check out the Healthy and Safety section from Wikipedia on polyvinyl chloridefor more information on PVC as a poison.

PVC Environmental Impact
Lastly the concern of PVC extends to the impact on our environment because of how it is disposed.  Harmful dioxins are emitted when plastics are burned; groundwater is poisoned if disposed of in landfills; and recycling plastic has its own challenges because of the difficulty trying to separate out the same formulations used for specific products after the products have been mixed through the recycling process.  For additional information checkout The Center for Health, Environment and Justice article on PVC.



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Here is a touching wake-up story on the impact of toxins on our children.

Other Information 

Time Magazine Environmental Toxins
American Lung Association on Indoor Air Quality
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