Your House is Making You Sick Green Building


Your House is Making You Sick Green Building Your Best Place To Live In The CarolinasWhat does Green Building have to do with my house making me sick you ask?

Everywhere around you, insidious enemies pursue; poisoning your water, air, and food.

You escape to your home, your safe haven, shut the door behind you and take a deep breath of relief.

But, are you safe?

The enemy usually lives where you sleep.

This scenario may not cause mass hysteria if broadcasted from TV and radio, but it is true, and it is happening.

  • Maintaining Healthy Indoor Air Quality
  • Indoor air pollution is like something out of an Orwellian Sci-Fi novel

Outside your home, pollution worsens by the day, as scientific and medical communities uncover more evidence and publish more studies indicating the air we breathe and what surrounds us is slowly poisoning us.

Throughout the day, in the air we breathe, the water we drink, food we eat, even the clothes we wear, we are exposed to thousands of chemicals.

These chemicals don’t effect us at once.

Instead, they act like water filling a glass. Once a certain level is reached, the glass (the body) overflows, and a reaction occurs.

Over-exposure to chemicals is hard to diagnose.

Sometimes symptoms look like the flu, others symptoms include sleeplessness, depression, diarrhea, or general muscle and body aches.

Aside from moving into the woods, it’s hard to avoid chemicals outside the home, but our home should be a haven, and it makes sense to protect ourselves as much as possible.

Our homes are full of sources for chemicals and pollutants, making our indoor air toxic.

The biggest indoor pollutant is formaldehyde. Yes, a chemical used to preserve the dead is used in our homes, and we wind up breathing it in.

The most common sources include, flooring, particle board, and insulation.

Formaldehyde is especially prevalent in mobile homes. Vapor barriers meant to stop the transfer of moisture actually trap moisture in the walls and cause mold and rot.

Paints covering your walls contain formaldehyde and toluene. New carpets, the finish on your cabinets, and the spackle in your wall joints can contain chemicals including formaldehyde, alkylphenols, brominated flame retardants, organotins and perfluorinated compounds, which can make you sick.

I know… a lot of words we may never had heard of before and it can leave us with an overwhelming feeling of helplessness.

The way you heat your home can also have an effect on how you feel in it.  Most systems, including forced air and radiators increase dust and dry air.

Duct work can harbor mold and mildew, while electric baseboards create electromagnetic fields.


Not all is lost!

There are plenty of things you can do to increase the indoor air quality of your home.

The market for chemical free products and building practices is growing every year, and you can take advantage of the great amounts of information available.

One of the most important and easiest things you can do is to read the warning labels of products you buy.  Avoid known carcinogens, and if possible, purchase products with less chemicals than others.

There are paints, woods, insulation’s, and building methods that take indoor air quality very seriously.

Robert Laporte and his wife Paula, run the company EcoNest, ( based in the Southwest, and specialize in healthy homes using mud and straw insulation to build homes as beautiful as they are livable.

Visit for great resources on healthy paints and stains, is a site for all your home concerns, and visit, for the United States Green Building Council.

If part of finding your best place to live in North Carolina or South Carolina includes building a home, you can definitely create a healthy home by taking some simple steps.

  • Orient the home to take advantage of southern exposure
  • Put most of your windows at the south end of the home, to take advantage of low, winter sun, and install overhangs to block out high, hot, summer sun
  • Using east and west air currents you’ll also be able to cool your home more efficiently
  • Make sure there is plenty of ventilation, and considered using a gas-powered, hot-water, radiant heating system which runs under the floors, eliminating duct work and forced air problems
  • If you already have duct work in place, you can install ultra-violet lights to kill mold and pathogens. Consider putting a humidifier unit right on your furnace to keep the air moist in drier climates
  • Using stone, tiles (with the proper sealants), cork, bamboo, and recycled-glass carpet all cut down drastically on pollutants

It is estimated that 80% of the pesticides we’re exposed to occur indoors.

Changing building practices to increase indoor air quality is a start, but you can do more by making healthy choices in other areas.

Whether your building a new home or intend on purchasing an existing one, or perhaps you are going to be renting consider these points for your new lifestyle in the Carolinas:

  • Clothes and bedding are treated with chemicals, in addition to the more obvious culprits such as cleaning products, deodorants and deodorizers
  • Visit your local health food store, and you may be surprised by the number and effectiveness of the products available to make your everyday life healthier

The final link to increase your health is in the food you eat.

Buying organic can drastically effect your overall health.

Most of the food a person buys on a daily basis is loaded with pesticides, buying organic ensure you’ll have food which was processed less, grown closer to your home, and has a higher nutritional content.

Start with one of these areas and work on the rest.

Changing just one thing can have a great impact on your quality of life.

To your health!

More About Green Building In The Carolinas:

north carolina and South Carolina Best PlacesAbout The Author

Robert Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations. Robert researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.

Robert Does Not Sell Real Estate!
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