Quick Tip #4
There is no “green” standard. Look for cleaning products made with vegetable ingredients.
Use cleaning products that are not ammonia- or chlorine-based. Make your own cleaner using baking soda, water, castile liquid soap, and vinegar. You can also use it to keep drains open - and to clean sinks, tubs and toilets.
(See more Quick Tips in our other pages.)
Winter the Home is Closed Up
Issue: Chemical Pollutants: Formaldehyde
Why It’s Important? Known cause of nasal cancer. Women are more frequently diagnosed with chemical sensitivities in the home and office than men.
Explanation: Home is closed up, so pollutants can build up. Many of today’s products have formaldehyde (paints, adhesives, rugs, furniture, drapes, wrinkle-free bed linens) and other chemicals that can impact health. Often people who are experiencing “allergies” are reacting to these chemicals. Some chemicals impact reproductive health, body functions, the brain and organs.
Solution: Ensure proper air exchange, choose safer products by asking if they have formaldehyde, avoid pesticides, and assess your home for chemicals.
HOW AND WHY WE STARTED
We started Healthy Spaces in 2004. Our mission is to help our customers create healthier homes and workplaces.
For 12 years, Jim had serious sinus congestion that interfered with his sleep. For almost as long, Teresa had headaches and occasional difficulty breathing. We assumed it was just normal to feel that way.
When we remodeled our house, we discovered and removed mold, took care of water intrusion problems and pulled up old carpeting. We also replaced cleaning products with safer alternatives. We repainted with No-VOC paints.
Almost immediately thereafter, Jim’s 12 year sinus problem cleared up. Teresa’s headaches disappeared and her breathing got easier. It was then that we realized how much of an impact our home’s indoor environment had on our health and wellbeing. After several years, none of these problems have come back. We have been amazed at these results.
Information is not readily available to consumers, homeowners or parents about issues inside the home that can cause or contribute to ill health, such as chemicals used in carpeting, furnishings, cleaning products and personal care items. As we continued to switch out products that are known or suspected in causing cancer, disrupting hormones, or harming our family’s health, we knew we wanted to share that information with others who may not know. Through Healthy Spaces, we are bringing our knowledge and experience to others. We want to help others find similar solutions.
Jim Quigley, MS, was trained through the International Institute for Building Biology and Ecology, with special emphasis on Indoor Air Quality, Electromagnetic Fields, and Indoor Environmental Health Inspections. He earned a Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and has 15 years experience in scientific and medical publishing. Jim is an adjunct professor at Arcadia University (Glenside, PA), with the Department of Medical Science & Community Health where he teaches Community & Environmental Health to graduate students in the Physician Assistant, Masters of Public Health and Health Education programs. He also is an instructor in the Sustainable Building Advisors certification program at Bucks County Community College (Newtown, PA).
Teresa M. Quigley, MSW, LSW, has over ten years of health care experience and has worked in hospitals, government, insurance, and provided in-home services to clients. She has worked in environmental health since 2002, specializing in helping childcare centers create safer spaces for children and working with the health care sector on pollution prevention, waste reduction, toxins reduction, and green building. She lectures nursing students at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s School of Nursing (Philadelphia, PA) on Environmental Health. Previously, she worked at three different health-related institutions in Philadelphia. She holds a Masters from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor's degree from Temple University.
Healthy Spaces, a local family-owned business, is a member of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, Sustainable Business Network, and the Bucks County Sustainable Building Alliance. We are also a partner with the Philadelphia School and Community IPM Partnership (PSCIP). We follow the principles of Bau-Biologie (building biology), promoting the use of healthy building principles as a means to improve living and work spaces and the health of the people who occupy them.
Healthy Spaces is about helping others
create a healthier indoor environment.
Let us help you take those steps!