At home

Most people spend at least 30% of the day at home. Our homes can be environmental refuges or unsuspected sources of harm.
In town or at work we are exposed to everything circulating in the air, but at home we have greater control over our environment. We can create an environmental refuge. We get an extra health bonus by getting rid of unnecessary environmental toxins at home. For most of us all it takes is to reassess our choices when decorating, furnishing, renovating and cleaning. Because this is the way that most harmful chemicals enter our homes.

Signs of a sick home can be: 
  • When more than one member of the family have the same symptoms
  • When those who spend most time at home have the worst symptoms
  • When your guests complain of unusual symptoms
  • When symptoms disappear after being away from home for a few hours or days
  • When the symptoms are worse during the winter
  • When symptoms start after renovation. {mospagebreak heading=At home&title=Be a detective}
Be a detective
It is possible to change the air at home while the air outside remains a global issue. Most of the cleaning materials we use contain some harmful chemicals as all the chemicals used in any given product don't have to be listed on the label. Many chemicals in use have of course not been tested to see how they harm our health, but only how much we tolerate before we die. The Swedish book Kanariefåglarna ryter gives ideas on how you can trace the sources of the hidden environmental toxins in your home.

Environmentally protect your bedroom
The two places we spend most time during the day are the bedroom and the office.
Considering the regenerative effect that sleep has on the body, your bed and bedroom are the first steps on the trail to a healthier environment.
If you're an uneasy sleeper, awake with a stuffed nose or if you snore a lot, environmentally protecting your bed can be very important. Your symptoms may be caused by something you are allergic to in your bedroom or actually in your bed. You sleep with your head on your pillow every night. But what is your pillow or mattress made of? Is the air you breathe pure? Or is it purely chemicals?

Most beds are made with the help of harmful chemicals like bensene, formaldehyde and toluene-diisocynate. A foam-rubber mattress is not actually made of rubber, but rather contains more chemicals than a drum of oil. Certain countries still use formaldehyde in the manufacture of textiles in order to avoid mould, but it takes at least two or three washes before it's washed out. Pillows and mattresses that form themselves to your body are made of synthetic chemicals. They may be good for your neck or back, but the petrochemical ingredients are broken down in time and release small particles that can lead to allergies. What are the alternatives? Your bedroom is meant to be a place of rest, but in many homes it also serves as an office, TV-room and sewing room. There should ideally be an off and on switch turning off all electricity in the bedroom so that you can turn off all electricity while you sleep.

Renovations
It's important to know what causes a "sick" home and how it can become healthy again. The best way to achieve this is to design a home where health comes first. According to Athena Thompson, "baubiologie" expert, we should see our home as our third protection or third "skin", our clothes being the second. We should think of our homes as living organisms, family member that also need time and care. It all works together, so choose your home with care.

A construction engineer is not a chemical expert and reckons that all available materials have been checked and are safe. Unfortunately this is not the case, and if you want to have an environmentally safe home you are the one who will have to do the detective work. The construction of a new home enables you to avoid problems with airflow right from the start. But the downside is it can also lead to exposure to harmful substances all depending on your choice of building materials and ventillation.

The use of toxic substances in building is standard. Building regulations are there to make sure a house is safe, but don't guarantee a healthy home. The aim of Kanariefåglarna ryter is to change the present situation and support a healthy trend in building and decoration. This chapter offers new information and new possibilities that can contribute to health and wellbeing in the home. It does not cover the actual building of a home, just the choice of materials. It is a help if you suspect that the cause of your family's health problems lie between the four walls of your home and you want to do a little detective work.

Insects

Insects play an important role in our ecosystem but most people try and keep the ecosystem out of their homes and gardens. The question is if we actually need to be totally rid of insects or can be content to lessen their effect on our daily lives. The best way of getting rid of insects, according to Dr Robert Verkerk, is to keep your home clean. Vacuuming goes a long way to remove insects, larvae and eggs. For a more detailed description on safe treatment wihout harmful chemicals you will have to get someone to translate the book.