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What Is Building Biology?

As a certified Building Biology Practitioner, momsAWARE founder Andrea Fabry is often asked, "What is Building Biology?" The answer is simple, but often ignored when designing our homes, offices, and schools.

New Construction

Building Biology is the study of the impact of the indoor environment on our health. Building Biology comes from the German term Bau-Biologie (bau meaning building and the living environment, bios meaning all forms of life, and logos implying a sense of order).

There is no question that buildings have an impact on those who occupy them. The average person spends 90 percent of their time indoors. This is in stark contrast to most of human history, when mankind spent significant time outdoors. The World Health Organization meanwhile continues to sound the alarm when it comes to the rise of chronic diseases (see this WHO fact sheet).

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Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Explored

Shampoo AisleChances are you've heard the term "endocrine disruptors." According to recent research, these substances are costing us billions of dollars per year in health care expenses (see the National Geographic article Chemical Exposure Linked to Billions in Health Care Costs). Generally present in small but pervasive quantities, these chemicals defy the conventional "the dose makes the poison" premise and are clearly wreaking havoc with our bodies.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have been implicated in the following:

  • Attention deficit disorder and other neurological effects
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Male and female reproductive disorders

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Open a Window, Even in the Winter!

Ventilation is one of the biggest factors when considering the health of a living environment. Unfortunately, ventilation takes a back seat when winter hits. Instinctively we close the windows and turn up the heat.

Indoor air specialist Richard Walter says allowing in a bit of outdoor air may offer an important health boost during the winter months.

Walter, head of A+ Engineering Construction in Nevada, says building construction has changed in recent years, which means buildings are tighter than ever.

We live in a ziploc plastic bag and it's terrible for our health.

The solution, according to Walter, is access to outdoor air.

You need clean air for your lungs. You don't get clean air inside your house.

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Radon: What You Need to Know

Radon is a naturally occurring environmental toxin. It's the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and therefore worthy of our consideration. The good news is that this toxin is relatively easy to identify and mitigate.

  1. What is radon?

    Radon is a colorless, chemically unreactive inert gas. You cannot smell, see, or taste radon. It is the heaviest known gas, nine times denser than air, and occurs as part of the normal radioactive decay process. It enters our living spaces via the ground, groundwater, or building materials. Holes or cracks in the foundation may be a clue that radon is an issue.

    Radon Sources

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A Healthier Halloween

Looking for alternatives to traditional Halloween fare? Would you like to give trick-or-treaters something other than conventional candy, without spending a fortune? Consider these readily available options! (Costs may vary between regions and stores.)

Halloween Basket

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Quotes

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"...at age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

Dedication