Safer Building Materials and Safe Construction Materials
Contains references about toxic substances that are commonly used in ALL remodeling, building and construction work.
Many reference sources, material lists and web-links are provided. Readers can insist on safe/safer materials, which are available locally at costs comparable to commonly-used harmful materials that primarily contain carcinogens such as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds and a variety of harmful substances.
Safer materials have NO carcinogens and are rated zero-VOC.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Another Domestic Health Hazard for Women
xxx In addition to the actual health hazards below, another domestic health danger endangers a majority of women.
Through the years, there have been many reports on the toxic chemicals found in nail polish. Here are a few links to credible sources with reports on the hazards to human health from nail polish.
Reportedly, one very safe alternative to toxic nail polish is PiggyPaint for children. There must be others, but that research project reaches beyond the central purpose of the information about Safer Materials. http://www.piggypaint.com/
(Updated now and then since the original creation date listed above. Latest update May 2012, to replace some discontinued weblinks with current ones.) SAFER MATERIAL LIST FOR BUILDING, CONSTRUCTION and REMODELING “In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” (Above quote from “The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality” from U.S. EPA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (6609J). EPA Document # 402-K-93-007. http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/insidest.html#Carpet)
*** Note to the reader of these pages: The overwhelming majority of the references and opinions about materials and construction methods came from a variety of sources. Fortunately, there are many people, companies and governments that are concerned about having safe materials in their environment, especially inside their own homes. There are alternate safer materials that are available instead of most materials that are commonly being used. In general, the safer materials do not contain carcinogens and do not contain any volatile organic compounds (VOC). Carcinogens are substances that are known to cause cancer or are highly suspect of causing cancer. VOC compounds can contribute to many health problems, some of which are respiratory problems and/or cancer. Eventually when consumers demand healthy materials in their homes, those materials, which are available to purchase now, will be used by builders and remodelers. The author has spoken with many "stick-built" builders, modular home builders, lumber yards, etc., and the vast majority do not use the safe materials. Additionally, the vast majority of those businesses are resistant to changing their materials and to consider using safer materials.
This information consists of a compilation by the author and in no way should this be considered a complete reference source. Other materials also are available; however, the following building and remodeling materials can be obtained now in Michigan. The author is a homeowner with limited experience in remodeling his personal residences. Several of the products have been used by the author. Many have not. This compilation is provided for reference and discussion. The author does not personally verify any of the following information. This blog contains web-links to products from many manufacturers. Any decisions to use the products are entirely the responsibility of the reader.
►Lessco Outlet Boxes http://www.lessco-airtight.com/ ►Plan to place electrical panel in garage to lessen chance of electromagnetic radiation (EMF) in house. ►Research is needed for documents that show how to avoid EMF in household electric system. (Note to reader: This is an area where the author has not found many D.I.Y. references.)
FABRICS - PERMANENT PRESS
Easy-read conclusion about formaldehyde in permanent press clothing. See 6th paragraph. http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arc99/1_9_99/fob6.htm Document mentions that you can reduce formaldehyde in permanent press fabrics by 60-percent with one washing. However, drapery and wallpaper constitute major contribution to introducing formaldehyde into home air, since those items usually are not washed. Technical Report from Battelle Institute with actual measured emission levels reported. http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/resnotes/notes/97-9.htm
Fact Sheet: Safe Substitutes at Home: Non-toxic Household Products. Toxic chemicals in the home can be eliminated simply by making thoughtful choices in the supermarket after educating oneself about where the hazards are in common consumer products. How can you determine what toxics you have in your home? Take this "toxics tour."
►Pre-finished hardwood floors, with the exception of bathrooms (homeowner to select) ►APA Guidelines for installing hardwood floors. Download free .pdf documents for the following APA items (free registration required to view free documents described below): - Builder Tips: Steps to Construct a Solid Squeak-Free Floor System Form P300 - Technical Note: Floor Squeaks - Causes, Solutions and Prevention Form C468 - Technical Note: APA Performance Rated Panel Subfloors Under Hardwood Flooring Form R280 - Builder Tips: Cut Callbacks with Proper Spacing and Nailing Form M300
ROOFING ►Standing seam baked-on-painted metal roof preferred. Hopefully, without gutters, the water from the roof can drain directly away from the house and not collect around the house foundation. Suggest using concrete or metal troughs underneath the gutters where the water drains off the roof, and fill troughs with large loose gravel. This plan could eliminate periodic cleaning of gutters and downspouts. Also, it helps to prevent mold growth from the collected decaying leaves in gutters.
WINDOWS ►Vinyl or fiberglass double-insulated w/ colors to coordinate with siding and interior. Builder and homeowner should decide. THOUGHTS ABOUT DOORWAYS Handicap accessible – 3-ft is good enough inside. ALL DOORS – interior and exterior should be handicap accessible SPECIAL NOTE: Suggested sample material-specific list to give to your builder follows:TO THE BUILDER: REQUIRED MATERIAL LIST: List ALL the materials (every single item) that you want. NO CHANGES OR SUBSTITUTIONS - There will be no substitutions without written approval of homeowner. Any substitutions must be removed at the expense of the company who was responsible. Any damages from removal must be repaired, so that the removal cannot be detected. (For example, if the wrong caulk is used, that caulk must be scraped off and removed. If the material under the caulk is damaged, that material must be replaced at the expense of the person who used the wrong caulk. Or, for example, the wrong pipe thread compound was used, the fitting needs to be taken apart to remove the wrong material, and all threaded fittings must be redone with the correct material at the plumber’s expense.) REFERENCE SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION: Pollution Sites in Livingston County, Michigan- Township Maps (Example for reference purposes. Look for similar maps in your location) Livingston County Environmental Awareness Handbook – Includes maps of known pollution sites for every Township. http://www.lchd.org/pdfs/EH/ehawarenesshandbook.pdf Safety information on carpeting:http://www.holisticmed.com/carpet/tc2.txt