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NON-TOXIC HOUSEHOLD ALTERNATIVES

It is now acknowledged by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that houses contain substances that may be hazardous to our health. In fact, the air inside the home may be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in the largest and most industrialized cities. In view of the fact that approximately 90% of our time is spent indoors, the risks to our health from indoor air pollution for many of us may be greater than the risks from outdoor air pollution.

Most houses contain a number of pollutant sources and while exposure to one pollutant source may not in itself be a problem, exposure to a number of them can present a serious risk. The pollutants can enter our bodies in one of three ways:
1) through our food or water
2) through materials and furnishings we touch and
3) through the air that we breathe. Although houses are mostly responsible for pollutants absorbed as a result of the air that we breathe, these will be in addition to the rest of the pollutant load that our bodies have absorbed, thereby increasing our total load.

Naturally, not everyone will be affected in the same way by an exposure to pollutants. Factors such as heredity, diet, lifestyle, age, and pre-existing medical conditions all affect our particular susceptibility.

POLLUTANTS, HEALTH EFFECTS, SOURCES AND SOLUTIONS (compiled from EPA and CMHC sources)

Substances:

By Lyse M. Tremblay, Architect


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