Finding a ‘healthy’ home a challenge, but can be done

Photo by Tom Coplen Buena Vista Photography

Modern homes are more airtight, driven largely by a push for increased energy efficiency, but that can trap pollutants inside and make it more likely to breathe toxic air inside the home than outside. The concentration of toxic compounds emitted by common household products and furnishings can cause dizziness, headache, nausea, fatigue and other symptoms. As much as 15% of the population is sensitive to these chemicals, especially those with asthma and other respiratory diseases. That’s why I was attracted to this article by Carrie Alexander, describing the challenges of finding a “healthy” home.

Elaine Robbins searched for more than a year before she found a house in Austin that would fit her needs. Like most home buyers, Robbins needed a house that fit her budget, location and square-footage requirements. But she also needed to find a home that would not make her ill.

Many of the houses for sale — especially those that had been spruced up with new carpet and paint before going on the market — raised health concerns for Robbins, who is especially sensitive to chemicals in many modern building materials, products and furnishings, as well as cigarette smoke and natural gas.

Read Carrie’s article for information on finding green homes built with healthy materials.