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A lot of people feel that the world of environmental consulting is so vast they don’t even want to dive into it. It can seem impossible to know where to start. And, too hard to turn your efforts into practical solutions. However, step-by-step with help, it is very attainable. That’s where we come in. Check out the resources provided below. Learn about , , and other subjects. Here’s to being informed and making healthier building choices.
Indoor Environmental & Building Consulting Services
EMF Reduction & Shielding • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Assessments • New Construction • Renovations • Remodels • Product Reviews • Workshops • Training • Speaking
What is Sick Building Syndrome?
Indoor Air Facts No. 4 (revised) Sick Building Syndrome
The term “sick building syndrome” (SBS) is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. In contrast, the term “building related illness” (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants. [read more]
What are the trends in indoor air quality and their effects on human health? (EPA)
Indoor Air Quality
- Importance of Indoor Air Quality
- Pollutants and Sources
- Other Factors Affecting Air Quality
- Effects on Human Health
- ROE Indicators
Importance of Indoor Air Quality
“Indoor air quality” refers to the quality of the air in a home, school, office, or other building environment. The potential impact of indoor air quality on human health nationally can be noteworthy for several reasons.
- Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors,1 where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.2
- People who are often most susceptible to the adverse effects of pollution (e.g., the very young, older adults, people with cardiovascular or respiratory disease) tend to spend even more time indoors.3
- Indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased in recent decades due to such factors as energy-efficient building construction (when it lacks sufficient mechanical ventilation to ensure adequate air exchange) and increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal care products, pesticides, and household cleaners. [read more]
US EPA Indoor Air Quality Exposure
Indoor Air Quality Exposure and Characterization Research
Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors where levels of pollutants frequently can exceed those found outdoors. There are many sources of indoor air pollution including tobacco products, building materials, personal care and cleaning products, and outdoor air pollution that enters buildings and homes, including wildfire smoke and mold.
Studies have shown that exposure to indoor air pollutants can lead to a variety of health effects, including respiratory problems and worsening of asthma. EPA conducts research on indoor air quality to better understand indoor sources, determine exposures and health risks to common indoor pollutants, and develop prevention and mitigation strategies.
EPA does not have Congressional authority to regulate indoor air, but the Agency promotes healthier indoor environments through [read more]
Indoor Environmental Quality & The Workplace (NIOSH / CDC)
Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) refers to the quality of a building’s environment related to the health of occupants within it. IEQ is determined by many factors, including lighting, air quality, and damp conditions. Workers are often concerned that they have symptoms or illnesses caused by exposures from the buildings where they work. One reason for this is because their symptoms often get better when they are not in the building.
Research has shown that some respiratory symptoms and illnesses can be associated with damp buildings. It is unclear what levels of indoor contaminants show that workers are at risk for disease. Determining which contaminants are responsible for suspected building-related conditions can be challenging. Many times the results of medical tests and environmental tests are not sufficient.
Despite uncertainty about what to measure and how to interpret what is measured, research shows that building-related symptoms are associated with building characteristics. These characteristics include:
Indoor Exposure to Selected Air Pollutants in the Home Environment: A Systematic Review
SOURCE: National Library of Medicine
There is increasing awareness that the quality of the indoor environment can affect our health and well-being. Indoor air quality (IAQ) in particular has an impact on multiple health outcomes, including respiratory and cardiovascular illness, allergic symptoms, cancers, and premature mortality . As the world is becoming increasingly urbanised, with urban residents typically spending over 90% of their time indoors [2,3], it is important to characterise IAQ and understand which pollution sources, housing characteristics, and occupancy patterns have the largest impact on our exposure to pollutants present in the home environment.
Exposure to high concentrations of air pollutants indoors can cause both acute and chronic health effects. Examples of acute effects [read more]
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.
Formaldehyde can cause red watery eyes, sore throats, skin rashes, and sinus infections. Persons with asthma are more likely to have asthma symptoms when exposed to formaldehyde. Health effects appear
Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)
What is EMF?
EMF stands for electromagnetic fields, also referred to as EMR (electromagnetic radiation) and EMI (electromagnetic interference). It is the forms of energy that is reflected or emitted from objects in the forms of waves that travel through space. These energy waves can be electrical, magnetic, radio frequency (RF), radiation and dirty electricity.
What are the five types of electromagnetic fields (EMF)?
The types of electromagnetic smog or EMFs are mostly occurring as electrical, magnetic, radio frequency (RF), radiation and dirty electricity. They all have ranges of frequency at which they vibrate and relate to one another across the Electromagnetic Spectrum. These types and frequencies of vibration have varying health risks for the human and animal bodies that can occur in the short term, but mostly occur in the long term.
What is Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS)?
The level of sensitivity a person has, and their individualize reaction to, electromagnetic fields based on personal history and health. Some problems attributed to EHS, also referred to as Membrane Sensitivity Syndrome (MSS) are:
- difficulties concentrating
- chronic fatigue
- memory loss
- cardaic palpitations
- behavioral disorders
- sleeps disorders
- aches in mucles and joints
- coordination porblems
Some scientiest suspect that at the root of many modern diseases, whose causes have defied explanation so far, lays the impact of electromagnetic energy. Evidence points to potentially broad health impacts, particular immune systems impacts. (Source: Building Biology.)
EUROPE Academy of Environmental Medicine EMF Guidelines 2016
Abstract: Chronic diseases and illnesses associated with non-specific symptoms are on the rise. In addition to chronic stress in social and work environments, physical and chemical exposures at home, at work, and during leisure activities are causal or contributing environmental stressors that deserve attention by the general practitioner as well as by all other members of the health care community. It seems necessary now to take “new exposures” like electromagnetic fields (EMF) into account. Physicians are increasingly confronted with health problems from unidentified causes. Studies, empirical observations, and patient reports clearly indicate interactions between EMF exposure and health problems. Individual susceptibility and environmental factors are frequently neglected. New wireless technologies and applications
have been introduced without any certainty about their health effects, raising new challenges for medicine and society. For instance..[read more]
The BioInitiative Report: Rationale for Biologically-based Public Exposure Standards for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF)
Bioeffects are clearly established to occur with very low exposure levels (non-thermal levels) to electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation exposures.
In the ten years since the BioInitiative 2012 Report was posted, hundreds of new peer-reviewed research papers have been published. A clear majority of studies report biological effects as opposed to ’no effect’. The trend continues to show that exposure to low-intensity ELF-EMF/Static Fields and RFR at levels allowable under current federal public safety limits pose health risks. This body of literature strongly supports new, biologically based public exposure standards that are protective against exposure levels identified in this Report to cause effects at levels thousands of times lower than current FCC limits. See https://bioinitiative.org/research-summaries/ for all results including electrohypersensitivity and comet assay study results
The BioInitiative 2012 Report has been prepared by 29 authors from ten countries, ten holding medical degrees (MDs), 21 PhDs, and three MsC, MA or MPHs. Among the authors are three former presidents of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, and five full members of BEMS.
New Construction, Remodel, Renovation
Five Common Indoor Air Pollutants in a New Home
Are you buying a brand new house? Or perhaps you’re moving into a newly developed complex? Whatever the situation is, there are air quality factors to consider for that fresh new house.
Sometimes, we worry so much about the air quality outdoors that we rarely consider what might be degrading our indoor air quality. While many modern building materials have made construction faster and less expensive, all the while making homes better insulated, these building materials and new homes also have the unfortunate side effect of introducing pollutants into our indoor air.
Toxicity and Indoor Air Quality in New Home Construction
New Home Makes Family Sick
The Wilson family moved into a new home last summer. Within days, they were feeling ill. Their eyes were burning, they had sore throats, and they were chronically tired.
Many chemicals in new homes can cause respiratory and skin irritation. Formaldehyde, a common chemical in new wood products and finishes, is an asthma trigger. New construction materials emit the largest amounts of these chemicals, with emission decreasing over time.
What is a BBEC, BBNC and EMRS?
Certified environmental consultants (BBEC), electromagnetic radiation specialists (EMRS), and healthy building design consultants (BBNC) help meet the ever-increasing public demand for proven methods that secure homes, schools, and workplaces from toxic indoor compounds and electromagnetic pollution. All certification candidates must sign the Building Biology Code of Ethics.
- Certification as a Building Biology Environmental Consultant™ (BBEC) requires 300 hours of self-study plus 50 hours of hands on training by US experts, plus satisfactory completion of a demonstration assessment project under the direction of an experienced BBEC mentor.
- Certification as a Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist™ (EMRS) requires 100 hours of self-study plus 50 hours of hands on training by US experts, plus satisfactory completion of a demonstration assessment project under the direction of an experienced EMRS mentor.
- Certification as a Building Biology New-Build Consultant™ (BBNC) requires 200 hours of self-study plus satisfactory completion of a demonstration new build or construction related project under the direction of an experienced BBNC mentor.
(Source: Building Biology Institute)
What is the Building Biology Institute?
Healthy Buildings For Sustainable Living
As an educational institute, Building Biology Institute offers healthy home seminars that examine the three footings on which Building Biology stands: Indoor Air & Water Quality, Electromagnetic Emissions, Natural Healthy Building Materials. Founded in 1987, educates and trains consultants on proven approaches and techniques on how to help assure a dwelling is life-enhancing for all its inhabitants, and not detrimental to its builders, with as little disruption to the environment as possible, and apply to new construction as well as to renovations. health-supporting structures in harmony with planetary ecology.
Building Biology Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization