Issue # 31: Healthy Housing June 30, 2004

Issue #31 Healthy Housing

  1. The Basics: Glossary, Problems Caused, Quick Quiz
  2. Health: Respiratory System, Asthma & Allergies, MCS
  3. Pollutants: Kinds, Where They Come From, Mould
  4. Building: 14 Points, Features, Recommendations
  5. Renovating: Top 3 Materials, Details, For Homeowners
  6. Products: Ozone Generators, Carpet, Air Cleaners
  7. More: Fact Sheets, Household Tips, Building Materials
  8. Kenís Top Pick: If You Have Time To Surf Only One Site

1. The Basics Ė Glossary, Problems Caused, Quick Quiz

Glossary Of Indoor Air Quality Terms
Much of healthy housing relates to indoor air quality. Here is a glossary from EPA that explains what many IAQ terms mean, especially those long, six cylinder scientist-type words.

Problems Caused By Sick Buildings
Although it covers commercial buildings, this London Hazards Centre report will give you a better understanding of the many different health problems caused by sick buildings. Wow!

Healthy House Quiz
So you think you know about healthy houses? The American Lung Association offers you a quick quiz, based on some US facts, which test your Indoor Air Quality knowledge.

2. Health: Respiratory System, Asthma & Allergies, MCS

Human Respiratory System
Un-healthy housing affects our respiratory system. Here is a great overview of how breathing works, by the American Lung Association. Somehow it reminds me of my school homework.

Asthma & Allergies
Those who suffer from asthma or allergies may have special challenges in certain house conditions. The Canadian Lung Association site is a good source for quality information.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)
Some people suffer from high sensitivity to even low levels of common chemicals. For an overview of MCS, and links to more info, visit the US Occupational Safety & Health site.

3. Pollutants: Kinds, Where They Come From, Mould

What Kinds Of Indoor Air Pollutants Are There?
The ALA site covers types and solutions for indoor pollutants such as asbestos, biological, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, lead, pesticides, radon, and second hand smoke.

Where Pollutants Come From?
Many different house components and contents are sources of pollutants. This simple diagram from the Health House site demonstrates these, and links you to more details for each.

What You Need To Know About Mould (PDF FILE)
Mould is being blamed for all kinds of health issues. Once again Dr. Joe Lstiburek provides you and/or your customers with the straight goods, in an easy-to-understand way.

4. Building: 14 Points, Features, Recommendations

14 Points To Healthy House Construction
John Bower is a well-respected Canadian expert on Healthy Housing and he offers you 14 dos and doníts for designing and constructing a house that wonít make the occupants sick.

Features Overview: Health House
For some tips on things to consider when building, along with a short description of how to meet certain standards for them, check out the ALA Health House Features site.

Practical Recommendations: Read This Before You Build (PDF FILE)
Good details on the what, why, where and how, are covered in these practical recommendations for healthy and affordable housing from Building America and Dr. Joe Lstiburek.

5. Renovating: Top 3 Materials, Details, For Homeowners

Top Three Materials For Healthy Renovation
The Healthy Home Designs site gives you some basic tips on how to select healthy products for three common renovation materials: paint, flooring and wood particleboard/fibreboard.

Details: Read This Before You Turn Over A House (PDF FILE)
Hereís another offering from Dr. Lstiburek and Building America. This report details ďhealthyĒ things you should ensure before turning a house over to the owners.

Healthy Housing Renovation Planner For Homeowners
For those owners who want to do their own homework before starting a healthy renovation it might be worth recommending that they order this planning book from CMHC, for only $35.

6. Products: Ozone Generators, Carpet, Air Cleaners

Ozone Generators May Be Dangerous
If you ever get asked for your opinion on ozone generators, this Health Canada site may come in handy. They do not recommend them for use as residential air cleaners.

To Carpet Or Not To Carpet
Carpet has advantages, but it can cause problems for some people with sensitivities. Here are some tips on alternative choices and selection from the Healthy Home Designs site.

Residential Air Cleaning Devices
Air cleaners are sometimes sold as the miracle solution for indoor pollutants. The ALA site has excellent information on types, effectiveness and health impacts of residential units.

7. More: Fact Sheets, Household Tips, Building Materials

Healthy Housing Fact Sheets For Various Rooms
CMHC has online fact sheets, by room, covering design and products for resource efficiency, environmental responsibility, occupant health, energy efficiency and affordability.

Virtual HealtheHouse: Shows Household Tips
Here is an interactive site from CHEC that gives some tips for a healthy household, showing different rooms and areas. Just move your mouse over the item and the tips appear.

Building For Health: Healthy Materials Centre 
Finding healthy building materials is not easy. This site, although itís in the US, has listings of quite a number of such products. You can order online, or check for brand names.

8. Kenís Top Pick: The Health House Site

The Health House Site
The American Lung Association has developed the Health House Program. Their site has information on all aspects of Healthy Housing for builders, trades and consumers.

Dittie For Today: On Using Your Talent
Everyone is gifted in some way. Some merely open the package sooner. - Unknown

 © Copyright 2004               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved
ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada