Creating interiors that care for health, wellbeing and the natural world
What is a Healthy Home?
Your home is where you relax, rejuvenate and sleep. What effect does your home have on the health of your family? Everything from the walls, ceiling and floor to furnishings and accessories play a part. What you build, renovate or bring into the home could be a long term health hazard. Looking at the whole interior and understanding the materials used, you can reduce exposure to known pollutants and protect your health. This is a holistic approach to home design and is often overlooked.
We spend around 90% of our time inside buildings breathing, living and working. The majority of modern day materials used in interior design and architecture contain chemicals and toxic additives. These materials are harmful to human and animal health as they slowly release toxic vapours, gases and pollutants into the air at room temperature (offgassing). This creates indoor air pollution and low air quality levels which you are exposed to through skin and inhalation. You cannot see, smell or taste these toxic gases. One of the exceptions is a new shower curtain, when you open the packaging and experience that PVC smell.
Interior air also becomes polluted through tobacco smoke, the use of space heaters, electrical equipment, appliances and chemical cleaning supplies. Interior air pollution is more damaging to your health than exterior air pollution as it is condensed and contained within small areas. Over time you may develop symptoms and illnesses such as sick building syndrome, building related illness, multiple chemical sensitivities, respiratory conditions, asthma, allergies and in extreme cases cancer. All of these conditions have increased sharply in modern times, stemming from industrialisation & mass production. Traditionally built & furnished homes did not have the same problems. We need to return to a more traditional way of life so that we give ourselves the healthiest surroundings over our whole lives.
When we suffer ill health, most look to medicine whether Western or complementary to treat the cause and relieve the symptoms. Analysing your external environment whether at home or work is an important aspect to consider. Elimination diets that cut out certain foods are a great way to find out what you are intolerant to internally. The same theory can be applied to your surroundings. In a nutshell, avoid mass-produced products, chemical based materials, plastic and opt for 100% natural, chemical free and organic products. This takes time to investigate, where does it come from and what does it contain? Are you ready for the challenge to create a healthier home?