Browsing the "indoor air quality" Tag

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Easy Ways to Reduce Formaldehyde from Building Materials

Opening windows is the easiest way to reduce formaldehyde concentrations in homes. The best option is to use only building products that emit little or no formaldehyde. However, when conventional building materials are already in place and emitting formaldehyde, the problem will remedy itself with time. Materials that are several years old emit far less formaldehyde than new products.

Formaldehyde from Citrus Cleaning Products

Cleaning products and air fresheners can produce formaldehyde. UC Berkeley researchers found that chemicals in pine oils and citrus oils react with ozone in the air, producing formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a strong eye, nose, throat, and lung irritant. Formaldehyde is also an asthma trigger and a carcinogen, according to the EPA.

February 26th

Granite Counters: Uranium Ore In Disguise?

Cathy Woods’ new granite counters were radioactive. They contained as much uranium as commercial uranium ore. The showroom that sold Cathy her Jupurana Bordeaux granite did not warn her that some granite is radioactive. When I contacted the salesman, posing as a customer, he assured me their granite “is no more radioactive than soil or water”. However, Cathy’s granite emitted gamma radiation at many times background. The radon gas emitted by the stone tripled the radon concentration in her kitchen.

CA Study Cites Chemicals in the Home as Possible Autism Trigger

While autism rates have been climbing at a frightening rate, its root causes have remained elusive.  Researchers at the University of California, Davis M.I.N.D. institute have concluded that the focus of autism research should shift away from genetics or accounting practices and toward the increase of toxic chemicals and infectious microbes in the environment, especially […]

January 16th

Never Mind the Earth, Green Your Home for Your Health

Emissions and Indoor Air Quality While sustainability and energy efficiency often dominate the green building conversation, the issue that can have the most immediate impact on your family’s health is indoor air quality.  Green building programs seek to limit your family’s exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, that exist in some building materials and […]

December 7th

A Rational Discussion on Radon in Granite Countertops

This post is a follow-up to The Fight Over Radon in Granite Countertops Heats Up, which will provide some background information on the granite/radon issue. With the legion of both deniers and alarmists out there attempting to monopolize the discussion over the safety of granite countertops, it is difficult to find unbiased information.  Peruse the […]

September 18th

Fight over Radon in Granite Countertops Heats Up

Please visit an updated post on radon in granite countertops here:  A Rational Discussion on Radon in Granite Countertops The Marble Institute of America better get ready for another round of fighting because the issue of radon in granite countertops is back. For the past decade, the MIA has been trying, with much success, to […]

May 14th

Platinum LEED 19th Century Building

Harvard University has achieved several firsts with the recent renovation of an old power plant into an office building. It is the first LEED Platinum certified university building renovation, as well as Harvard’s first Platinum building. More interestingly though, it is the first Platinum building built before the turn of the the century–last century, that […]

March 27th

Formaldehyde and Indoor Air Quality

Today’s news included the story that testing on FEMA-supplied temporary housing trailers in Mississippi and Louisiana has found extremely high levels of formaldehyde in the air, despite earlier reports issued by FEMA indicating that there was no problem. Tests by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on more than 500 trailers in Louisiana and […]

February 14th