Healthy Homes

Why does a typical wood framed house contain elements like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates, fungicides and urea formaldehyde?

Doesn’t the Building Codes ensure that only healthy materials can be used?

No, the Building Codes are there to ensure the minimum level of safety in buildings and, at this point in time, toxic materials aren’t deemed to be a safety issue.

How important is a healthy home for your family?
FACTS:
  • 55% of the United States population suffers allergies.
  • Percentage of our lives that we spend indoors: 90%.
  • Number of people in the U.S. who have either allergy or asthma symptoms: one in five.
  • Odds that a child with one allergic parent will develop allergies: 33%.
  • Odds that a child with two allergic parents will develop allergies: 70%.
  • More than 50 million Americans, one out of five, suffer from hay fever, asthma, and other allergic diseases.
  • Pollution levels inside homes may be two to five times higher than outside.
  • Indoor allergies may last all year long. For millions of People, “allergy season” never ends.
  • Mold and mildew can cause a variety of reactions in hypersensitive individuals ranging from allergic responses to neurological damage.

Source: Web MD

               

Sick Building syndrome (SBS)

The actual home construction systems are increasingly associated to symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome manifested by acute discomfort: e.g., headache; eye, nose, or throat irritation; dry cough; dry or itchy skin; dizziness and nausea; difficulty in concentrating; fatigue; sensitivity to odors; cough; chest tightness; fever; chills and muscle aches.

Among the most important factors associated to SBS are formaldehyde, fiberglass, radon, mold and mildew, treated timber and termite fighting pesticides. The Terra-Steel system naturally avoid all of them:

Formaldehyde is found in particle board and plywood, used in traditional wall construction, -it is not used in the Terra-Steel walls.

Fiberglass insulation is one of the most common home building materials today: Large fibers can cause itching and skin irritation; smaller fibers are suspected of causing lung diseases and cancer in a manner like asbestos.

Fiberglass in contact to humidity creates also the perfect environment for growing black mold. Black mold can be associated to many health effects you might experience. The exposure to toxic black mold can result in various health effects, like organ damage, skin damage, vascular damage, allergies and invasive diseases.

Radon: The effects of high levels of radon on humans are those associated with ionising radiation (X-rays and gamma-rays): cancer and damage to the reproductive organs and to the fetus. The Terra-Steel construction system includes procedures to avoid infiltration of radon gas.

Mold and mildew are naturally avoided because earth walls absorb excess humidity and release it to the outside.

Termite control pesticides are not needed by Terra-Steel Homes.

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