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Sick Building Syndrome: How One Mom Empowered Herself

Podcast intro by Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Sick building syndrome (SBS), or sick house syndrome, consist of various nonspecific symptoms that occupants of indoor areas experience. 

Symptoms of SBS include headaches, dizziness, chronic fatigue, nausea, irritation (of eye, nose, throat, or skin), difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to odors, allergies, cold, flu-like symptoms, increased incidence of asthma attacks and personality changes.

Author of Organic Lifestyle Made...

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The Pros and Cons of Ceramic

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Ceramic is generally considered among the healthiest materials used throughout the home, from cozy warm mugs to tiled flooring.

“Ceramic” is a material made from clay that has been heated. It is a category that includes pottery, earthenware, terracotta, stoneware, porcelain, fine china, bone china, paper clay, etc. as subcategories. The names indicate different materials used to make the ceramic.

I've always been...

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Are "green" building materials and interior furnishings healthy?

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Building and renovating our homes are opportune moments to create a healthy indoor environment since building materials (like floors and cabinets) and interior furnishings (like paints and furniture) have a meaningful influence on our indoor air quality.

First, keep in mind that "green" is not necessarily "healthy."

"Green" is not necessarily healthy

People often assume that products marketed as "green"—or...

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10 Household Products to Detox

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Household productslike cleaners, paints, and fragrancescontribute to half of our urban air pollution, according to a study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (1)  

What makes up the other 50%? Vehicle-related emissions.

With such significant amounts of air pollution coming from popular products, your home probably contains some too. 

Below...

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What Should You Consider When Buying A New Home?

by Angela Cummings, reviewed by Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Back in the early 2000’s, the criteria I used when shopping for a home was this: it had to be cute, in a good neighborhood, and in a manageable price range. All the important criteria widely used in a home search!

I had not considered the materials used or toxic building materials that might have been installed.

Unfortunately, that oversight was significant.

After moving into our new home, I developed a medical...

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Get the Lead Out

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Surprisingly, lead is still found in many consumer products today.

While lead was banned from house paint in the U.S. in 1978, it is still found in the paint of older homes, hand-me-down products, and products made in foreign countries. (1)(2)

In addition, lead may be found in products that fall into an exempt or exclusion category set forth by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. For example, some electronic components have...

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10 Things to Consider When You Want to Remodel Your Home

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Home remodeling can be trickier than building a new home, in the sense that you, the homeowner, are likely still living in the home while it’s being remodeled.

This gives added importance to choosing materials with fewer chemicals that are off-gassing and reducing indoor air quality.

Each stage of the construction process involves choosing materials that can off-gas into the indoor air environment. However, for the...

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Which is a Better Choice: Synthetic or Natural Dyes

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Let's consider the dyes used in textiles, which are part of our furniture, drapes, carpets, area rugs, bedding, towels, clothes, bags, backpacks, toys, and more.

These dyes can be made of natural and/or synthetic ingredients, but be aware that they can influence indoor air quality and our health.

In this article, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of natural and synthetic dyes.

Natural Dyes

Natural dyes...

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Adhesives May Be Gripping Our Furniture And Our Health

building materials Mar 19, 2018

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

Furniture would fall apart without the use of adhesives or another method that holds the parts together.

Imagine trying to sit on a chair that’s not secured by adhesives and screws.

Are you picturing yourself on the floor with chair pieces around you? Me too.

While important, adhesives are often made from hazardous chemicals. These chemicals enter our bodies as we inhale their fumes and absorb them through our skin.

...
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Formaldehyde in Furniture

by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée

 

When buying furniture the first consideration is usually about the look and feel of the furniture. Not about how it may be affecting health.

Furniture and other home furnishings often contain formaldehyde. In this article you will find:

  • What is formaldehyde?
  • Household items containing formaldehyde.
  • Short-term effects of formaldehyde exposure.
  • Can formaldehyde cause cancer?
  • How to avoid formaldehyde exposure at home.
  • Find more...
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