How Materials Homes are Made of Influence Your Health

Studies have proved that houses need far more than solar panels and recycling systems in order to be considered not only green but also healthy.

One such research project has shown that homes that do not have proper ventilation may face the dangers of Volatile Organic Compounds buildups, which are harmful to both the environment, as well as to the inhabitants of the buildings. Following the same general idea, a team led by Susana Hormigos-Jimenez tackled the issue of how ventilation could impact the buildup of emissions from building materials, in residential buildings.

Residential buildings are usually filled with individuals of various ages, all of which have different levels of sensitivity to these buildups. Thus, maintaining good indoor air quality is vital to keeping ourselves healthy. This is especially true when talking about small children and elderly people.

Installing a proper ventilation system when building a new structure is a great way to ensure that one of the main sources of indoor pollution is kept under control.

The study analyzed a typical room filled with basic furniture. The materials were also chosen in order to reflect what an individual would normally have in his home(laminated wood floors, carpets, foam underpads, and furniture made of maple and plywood). The results have shown that there are several factors that impact VOC emissions. The most important of them is the age of the materials. Research has shown that new or renovated buildings have the largest concentrations of VOCs.

Proper ventilation is required in order to ensure that buildups do not occur. The results of the study have also shown that the laminated flooring requires the longest ventilation period of all the materials specified above.

It should be specified that the study was based on information gathered by the National Research Council of Canada, not on data measured in a real room.

The overall conclusion of the research was that a standardized system of measuring emission buildups in interior spaces is required in order to determine the amount of ventilation needed in a room. However, this should become increasingly easier to do, as most governments demand that homes are built according to ever tighter standards.

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