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Ward Young Architects

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The Healthy House

Poor indoor air quality (pollution) can bother your eyes, nose, and throat. It can also lead to chronic heart and lung problems and cancer.

Air pollution in the home can come from

wood smoke;
tobacco smoke;
gas-burning furnaces;
gas-burning appliances;
radon gas;
mold; and

Home air pollution can be made worse by poor ventilation, high heat, and high humidity.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible areas of energy, often referred to as radiation, that are associated with the use of electrical power and various forms of natural and man-made lighting. EMFs are typically characterized by wavelength or frequency into one of two radioactive categories:

Non-ionizing: low-level radiation which is generally perceived as harmless to humans
Ionizing: high-level radiation which has the potential for cellular and DNA damage

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EPA: An Office Building Occupant's Guide to Indoor Air Quality

This guide is intended to help people who work in office buildings learn about the factors that contribute to indoor air quality and comfort problems and the roles of building managers and occupants in maintaining a good indoor environment. Because good indoor air quality depends on the actions of everyone in the building, a partnership between building management and occupants is the best way to maintain a healthy and productive work space.

Relationships and procedures between management and occupants will vary from building to building. Some buildings are occupied entirely by the employees of the building owner, and in most of these buildings, the responsibility for indoor air quality management may be handled by a central department or office. In other buildings, where one or more building occupants rent space under separate leases, building management may have limited control over the day-to-day activities in the leased space. Likewise, the occupants of such buildings may have little control over central building services such as heating and cooling, elevator services, housekeeping, and waste and pest management. For these reasons, occupants and management in leased space buildings will need to closely coordinate their indoor environmental management strategies.

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EPA: Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction For Health Professionals

Indoor air pollution poses many challenges to the health professional. This booklet offers an overview of those challenges, focusing on acute conditions, with patterns that point to particular agents and suggestions for appropriate remedial action.

The individual presenting with environmentally associated symptoms is apt to have been exposed to airborne substances originating not outdoors, but indoors. Studies from the United States and Europe show that persons in industrialized nations spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors1. For infants, the elderly, persons with chronic diseases, and most urban residents of any age, the proportion is probably higher. In addition, the concentrations of many pollutants indoors exceed those outdoors. The locations of highest concern are those involving prolonged, continuing exposure - that is, the home, school, and workplace.

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EPA: Mold Resources

Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

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Household Products Database

Health & Safety Information on Household Products

What's under your kitchen sink, in your garage, in your bathroom, and on the shelves in your laundry room? Learn more about what's in these products, about potential health effects, and about safety and handling.

Information in the Household Products Database is taken from a variety of publicly available sources, including brand-specific labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) prepared by manufacturers.

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Rocky Mountain Environmental Health Assn

The Rocky Mountain Environmental Health Association is a support group for people with chemical sensitivities. We provide a starting point for information and resources about Environmental Illness (EI), Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), Environmental Medicine, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS), and other related environmentally aggravated health conditions.

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Safe Housing Tips

What to Look for in an Existing House for a Healthier Home

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Mail can be sent to: SiGBA P.O. Box 4245 Truckee, CA 96160

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