When you take a look inside your own home, you will have a rude awakening when you realize the health problems that you yourself have brought into the very place you are trying to keep safe. Everyday materials that we put ourselves in contact with are the very things that are making our homes dangerous! Off-gassing! If you don’t know the term yet, YOU SHOULD! The chemicals that you are breathing in while you sleep or while you cuddle your baby is something most of us don’t think about, in any means we must start!!
So what is off gassing? “The evaporation of volatile chemicals in non-metallic materials at normal atmospheric pressure”. This means the building materials within your home or office are releasing chemicals into the air through evaporation, which can continue for years after the initial install. This silent stalker is creating these chemicals which enter your lungs on a daily basis, whether you know it or not. It comes from your paints, stains, varnishes, carpet, insulation, flooring, kitchen cabinet and countertops, plywood, particleboard, and paint strippers, producing substantial off gassing in any space. “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns about the health effects of poor Indoor Air Quality from the off gassing of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).”Indoor air pollutants such as off gassing is the leading cause for people who suffer with Allergies, Chronic sinusitis, Asthma or respiratory problems in general. Off gassing can cause symptoms ranging from puffy, red and watery eyes to a runny nose, congestion, coughing, and asthma-like symptoms. Off gassing can also be the cause for skin irritations such as rashes, itchiness and hives. The two most identified type of off gassing that you can smell is a “new car” or “new carpet”. Now these smells are obvious but there are numerous products/materials which the off gassing is odourless.Stockholm University in Sweden conducted a study where they found that certain computer monitors emit a chemical “triphenyl phosphate” which can be the leading cause of allergic reactions. Triphenyl phosphate is a flame retardant that is used in many plastics. When turned on, the monitors' heat causes the compound, which is not bonded to the plastic, to start evaporating. So the question here must be asked, when exposed to such a compound that is typically found in new materials/products can it pose a potential long-term health risk? Apparently they don’t know yet!
Only Kermit the frog can use the excuse “it isn’t being green” to everyone else it only make sense to be.
Stay green and until next time,
w&c designer girl!