The Green Movement – Good for Environmental Health

Environmental medicine is a relatively new field of study. Once regarded with skepticism by some, environmental medicine has recently gained more attention and prestige, thanks in part to the green movement.

As more people learn about environmental chemicals, they’re realizing that these chemicals can indeed cause environmental illness, also known as sick building syndrome. Indoor mold, for example, can cause all sorts of illnesses – from allergies and asthma to neurotoxic poisoning. Continue reading…

The Science of Sick Building Syndrome

Sick Building Syndrome, or SBS, refers to a condition where a building makes its occupants sick. Toxins and allergens are the most common cause of SBS. Mold, which may produce allergens or toxins, is the single most common cause.

One type of mold – Stachybotrys chartarum – has been implicated in SBS more than any other substance. Also known as black mold or toxic mold, Stachybotrys releases toxins into the air. Common symptoms including headaches, shortness of breath, and fatigue, although much more serious conditions may result. Continue reading…

Indoor Health and Productivity in Workplaces and Schools

The Indoor Health and Productivity report, a National Science and Technology Council Project, shows that indoor environments affect productivity in schools and workplaces.

Improving the indoor environment will not only decrease energy costs and healthcare costs, but also improve health, performance, and attendance.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Research suggests that low ventilation rates and less daylight can adversely affect student performance.
  • Continue reading…

How a DIY Toxic Mold Test Kit Saved Me Hundreds of Dollars

Last year when I rented a “fixer upper” house in the Atlanta area, I got a good deal on the rent in exchange for doing some cosmetic work to the interior of the house. Little did I know, the house needed more than a bit of lipstick.

After I ripped up the carpet, refinished the floors, and painted the whole interior, a foul odor still lingered. I tried everything to get rid of the smell – from air purifiers to specialized cleaning solutions. Nothing seemed to work.

The first time it rained, I realized why the odor wouldn’t go away. Every time it rained, water flooded the front sunroom. The water didn’t come from one particular place, as with a single leak; rather, it streamed down the walls like a waterfall, making a large puddle on the floor. There was something fundamentally wrong with the construction of this room. Talk about sick building syndrome! Continue reading…