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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Steps to a Healthy Home

by Christopher Buonocore

Chronic Illness, attention disorders and disease have escalated to a level where most people know someone intimately with a major health concern. Additionally, childhood illness is on the rise at an alarming rate with cognitive and behavioral problems. Often, the key approaches are the same: eat right, exercise, regular medical check-ups, holistic treatment and rest. There is one more pivotal consideration: your indoor environment.

The term “healthy home” has been showing up more often in the media, but what does it mean?

The home environment can have a major effect on health. It can be an even bigger concern for the sensitive child as well as the chronically ill. Vaporized chemicals (VOC’s), biological hazards (like mold) and electromagnetic radiation (EMF/EMR) from electronic devices, home wiring and cell towers, can have a negative biological effect on the body.

The one-time home inspection prior to the purchase of a home does not consider these components, or the interaction between them. What happens when home use and conditions change? For example: new furniture and carpets will release VOC’s; growing families increase water use, moisture and temperature; wireless technology will emanate EMF affecting your biology. The good news: There are solutions to indoor environmental problems.

Building Biology is a German discipline that has been practiced for more than 45 years, addressing the holistic effects of buildings on human health. The International Institute for Building-Biology and Ecology (IBE) founded in the U.S. during the 1980s from translated principles of “BAU-biologie”, predated the Green movement. The Green movement promotes recycled materials and efficient mechanized systems, but not the occupant’s health. Building Biology is based on historical to modern building concepts to identify material safety, indoor air quality and electricity.

IBE’s discipline is based on the precautionary principle, an approach to risk assessment based on social responsibility initially outlined globally by the World Charter for Nature adopted by the U.N. in 1982. In Europe, the principle has been made part of the legal system, although not in the U.S. Unfortunately, toxicity classes developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do not consider potential harm from bioaccumulation, carcinogenicity, mutagenic effects and the effect on reproduction systems. Physicians are quick to detect allergies, but rarely consider testing for pesticides or chemicals. Homeowners are left to decide if symptoms are due to indoor exposures. Exposures can be confirmed with indoor testing and detection.

Scientific authorities have evaluated the negative biological effects of electromagnetic frequency. In cell biology, cell signaling is chemical and/or electrical stimulating the movement of nutrients, hormones and the immune system. Electricity can move through the body in the form of an EMF causing a disruption of cell signaling. Magnetic field disturbances (another form of EMF) from home wiring have been known to cause an increase in childhood leukemia, as noted in a study reported in the journal Epidemiology. A correlative research study recently published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine was performed regarding the negative effects of electromagnetic fields on calcium channels and disruption of the blood-brain barrier. When EMF is present, toxins have the potential to more readily enter the brain.

We live in a world of environmental exposures. The goal of Building Biology is to identify the source of a potential exposure, test to confirm and provide a solution to minimize or reduce the problem. Your home should be a sanctuary for you and your family’s health. Together, we can make it a place of restoration, enabling you to handle the daily stressors of life in the 21st century. You can get better.

Christopher Buonocore is a certified Building Biology Environmental Consultant (BBEC) specializing in detection and resolution of indoor environmental pollutants.

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June 2020




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