Return to RMEHA Home page>

Rocky Mountain Environmental Health Association

Healthy Housing Resources

This page contains Healthy Housing links and Resources -

This page contains the following sections -

Healthy House Institute

Healthy House Institute; http://www.hhinst.com/
The Healthy House Institute was one of the originators of the Healthy House concept. This site has many resources and suggestions about housing.

The Healthe House

The Healthe House; http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/
The Healthe House site gives a survey of many common household products that carry hidden hazards. Includes many tips for developing a healthy lifestyle.

Natural Home Magazine

Natural Home Magazine; http://www.naturalhomemagazine.com/
The Natural Home magazine covers many aspects of designing and living in a healthy home.

Prescriptions for a Healthy House

Prescriptions for a Healthy House
Paula Baker Laporte, Erica Elliot, John Banta
ISBN 0-86571-434-7
New Society Publishers, 2001
P. O. Box 189
Gabriola Island, British Columbia, V0R 1X0
Tel: 800/567-6772
This book provides detailed specifications on requirements, site work, concrete, earth Masonry, alternatives to frame construction, metals, woods, plastics, thermal and moisture control, door and window openings, finishes, specialties such as pest management, water treatment, electrical and magnetic field management, and furnishings.

Homes that Heal and Those that Don't

Homes that Heal and Those that Don't
Athena Thompson
ISBN 0-86571-511-4
New Society Publishers, 2004
P. O. Box 189
Gabriola Island, British Columbia, V0R 1X0
Tel: 800/567-6772
This book spells out the significant differences between a conventional home and a healthfully built home. It includes a glossary of terminology, organizations, newsletter, books and many products in this area.

Healthy Construction Guidelines

Healthy Construction Guidelines
Edited by Christi Graham, Marc Richmond
ISBN 0-86571-511-4
Published by Healthy Homes Publications (undated)
180 Harbor Drive, #231
Sausalito, California, 94965
Tel: 888/388-5735
Web: http://www.healthyhomedesigns.com/ (Really http://www.archtecturalhouseplans.com/healthy_homes/)
This some 50 page looseleaf book gives an explanation of the health risks from many conventional materials. It provides many detailed recommendations of non-toxic alternatives, contact information for manufacturers, and distributors. It provides a step by step guide for building or remodeling a safe, healthy and non toxic home.

Lead Inspection Service

The following link provides information about cleaning up lead contamination, such as from old paint, in homes and appartments.

Healthy House Web Links

Various governmental agencies are beginning to recognize the importance of indoor air quality. For example, the Colorado Health Department has a link to a page listing Indoor Air Specialists in Colorado on their Indoor Air page. (Be warned it is a large and unordered *.PDF format). There may be corresponding information for other states.

This section lists several web sites that represent they have healthy homes available.

It is especially important to note that "green" houses are not necessarily "healthy" as far as being safe for people with Environmental Illness. We see "green" house interiors not being well sealed off from the outside shell - which often contains formaldehyde laden OSB (Oriented Strand Board). (Note that formaldehyde free OSB is becoming available.) We see "green" kitchen cabinets made of particle board that was not selected for non toxic type adhesives. We see "green" houses with crawl spaces that are not designed to be dry and free of mold. "Green" houses is an area for the buyer to be very aware and ask a lot of questions. And this is a request for builders to be more selective in their construction practices.

Another area of concern is the use of recycled materials. The past history of some of these materials is very questionable since many of them come from an era when there was much less awareness and concern about low level toxic materiels. Yes, recycling is good, but the toxic history must be questioned for all of these materiels.

This section gives links to a a wide variety of Housing Issues -

Return to the top of this page

Sick Building Syndrome

Sick Building Syndrome(SBS) is a situation where people in a particular building become sick, typically with symptoms of MCS. When this problem first became a public health issue, researchers searched for an assumed personality profile that would make some people more susceptible to SBS than others. The profile was never found.

Two types of buildings are now recognized as causing SBS - new or recently remodeled buildings that presumably have high levels of volatile organic solvents or formaldehyde gases being outgassed from the building materials. The second problem area is mold-infested buildings that have had water exposure, condensation and subsequent mold growth.

SBS appears to amount to a low level or sub-clinical MCS injury where people know they have a problem with such materials as fragranced perfumes, petro-based cleaning materials, and the like. But they have organized their lives so that they avoid such exposures and seldom have problems. And consequently have never sought medical support. But when they spend an appreciable time in a building with MCS aggravants, those aggravants build up to trigger the MCS reaction and sometimes worsen the neural injury that causes the MCS syndrome.

Medical buildings are a serious SBS problem area. MCS is a health problem for some 11 ... 16 percent of the population. Yet many medical buildings have carpets. A common question from people asking for references to a doctor who supports environmental illness is "is the doctor's office carpeted?"

Return to the top of this page

Indoor Air and Air Cleaner Resources

The following section lists several resources for air cleaner products that may be useful for people with Environmental Illness -

Of possible interest for persons with Environmental Illness is an action underway to stop misleading advertisements for air purifiers and ventilating systems that claim to remove tobacco smoke. See the following link for more information -

Comparison information about various air filters is available at the following web site -

Return to the top of this page

Fragranced Products in Healthy Homes

An important consideration for everyone, given the many problems from this product, is that a Healthy House must not contain fragranced products. There is now a regulation encouraging this situation in the Green Product guidelines - Green products, according to the US Dept. of the Interior, "MUST NOT contain petrochemical-derived fragrances."

Return to the top of this page

House Drying Out Service

A firm in New Jersey has developed a drying out service for buildings with moisture problems and for new construction. The company has a hot air generator that heats the incoming air to some 250 degrees Fahrenheit and continuously feeds this air into the house at 2250 cubic feet per minute. In some 48 hours, they claim the typical humidity in the house is down to some four percent, as compared to the some 30 percent that common drying methods achieve. Contact -

Their web site has a directory of nationwide service providers.

Return to the top of this page

Mold Problems

Elimination of mold is a very important healthy housing consideration for everyone. And it is an especially serious problem for people with Environmental Illnesses who can have a severe reaction to the mold outgassing and particulates. Here are some links to more information about this area.

Return to the top of this page

Material Safety Data Sheets

Material Safety Data Sheets; http://www.ilpi.com/msds/
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are published by most manufactures of consumer and industrial products. While many companies put most of the significant components on the label that comes with the product, the MSDS can list ingredients or components that may be considered innocuous to most people but may be very significant to people with sensitivities or allergies. The above site provides a wide variety of MSDS' and has links to many other sources.

Other links for more MSDS information -

An MSDS sheet should contain the following information on the following topics -

  • Chemical product and manufacturer's identification
  • Definitions and Acronyms
  • Composition
  • Physical data
  • Fire fighting
  • Hazardous identification and first aid
  • Stability and reactivity
  • Accidental release measures
  • Handling and storage
  • Exposure controls and personal protection
  • Toxicological information
  • Ecological information
  • Disposal considerations
  • Transport information
  • Regulatory information

Return to the top of this page

Floors in Healthy Houses

The floor in a house is a big contributor to the indoor environment. It is worth noting that many of the "sick building" problems are traced to carpeted floors. Most carpets are made from petrochemicals, and release many of those chemicals into the house.

Research in Europe is implicating some of the chemicals used to make carpets nice and soft are serious endocrine disrupters and a potential health hazard, especially to young children. To that end, those chemicals are being phased out of European society. In other words, a smiling baby on a new carpet is good advertising in America, but child abuse in Europe!

Conversely, ceramic tiles have many benefits. They are cheaper to install, easier to maintain, environmentally friendly, and healthy. Especially when installed with adequate underfloor insulation, they are very comfortable.

Also worth noting is that many environmentally-oriented physicians do not have carpeted medical facilities.

Return to the top of this page

Radiant Panel Flooring

Radiant Panel Association; http://www.radiantpanelassociation.org/
The quality of the air in a house is especially importent for people with sensitivities and allergies. A heating technique that avoids the forced air furnace with all its dust and uneven temperature problems is the radiant floor. See the above link for more information about radiant flooring and references to contractors.

Return to the top of this page

Home Energy Rating System

The HERS index is being adopted by building regulatory entities across the company to encourage the building of energy-efficient homes. The HERS index is a relative comparison of the energy consumption a projected house with the versus a comprehensive house energy consumption model. For more information, see - Return to the top of this page

Toronto Healthy Housing Proposal

A Proposal to the City of Toronto Regarding Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Environmental Sensitivities, Electrical Hyper-Sensitivities, and Housing.

The following links all refer to various formattings of the same article. In particular, the large *.pdf files are best read only with a fast access line and a computer with very large memory.

PDF Version:

Online Version:

MCSA NEWS; September 2008, Volume 3, Issue 9
Exclusive Housing Edition!

Entire PDF Edition:

NEW! Entire Online Edition:

Return to the top of this page

Warm Floor Product

Warm Floor; http://www.warmfloor.com/
Another capability that may be useful for people with sensitivities and allergies is to heat the floor with any of several electrical products now on the market. An example is the above where a manufactured flooring pad is designed to be energized by a 24 volt line. While this technique may not be appropriate for people with Electromagnetic Sensitivities, it may work very well for other people. Also, this technique may work very well for an off-grid home where 24 volt electrical power can be obtained directly from the 24 volt batteries without suffering the energy loss in an inverter.

Paints and Sealants

A wide variety of paints and sealants, sometimes called "low VOC" or "zero VOC" are becoming available that outgas very little volatile materials and are often especially well tolerated by many people.

Here are links to selected suppliers -

Some of these companies have low and no-voc paints and sealants in their inventory even though they may not advertise it or list it in their catalogs. Always ask!

Return to the top of this page

Healthy House Features

Here are some of the important features in a house constructed for a person with MCS/EMF in Arizona that may be of interest to others considering the housing challenge.

  • Whole house air filtration using active charcoal and HEPA filtration.
  • Whole house vacuum system with external clean out and exhaust.
  • Water softener to provide safe water for whole house and garage facility.
  • Large study/office could also be used as fifth bedroom in house. Ideal for an attendant/cook near the kitchen and laundry.
  • House surround and driveway is volcanic cinders for plant and dust control.
  • Large utility room designed to isolate harmful EMF and inhalants, including vented closets for dirty clothes and shoes used outside.
  • No EMF producing equipment beyond kitchen to provide safe layout.
  • Special air exhaust in kitchen and all closets to eliminate harmful inhalants.
  • Special washed galvanized duct work for HVAC.
  • Separate garage with additional laundry, hot water, bath, bedroom, office and workshop.
  • Vented cabinets for TV, stereo and computer in two separate rooms to eliminate inhalants.
  • Shielded and twisted pair electrical wiring to eliminate electromagnetic fields (EMF).
  • Located in community with at several other EI homes and neighbors providing support.
  • Grouted well with no plumbers dope used anywhere. Copper plumbing used throughout house and garage.
  • One bedroom is entirely ceramic tile to maximize comfort for the severely ill.
  • All ceramic tile sauna for therapeutic use.
  • All metal shelving throughout all closets and pantry.
  • Organic garden with irrigation.
  • Ceramic tile throughout.
  • All electric home and garage facility.
  • Custom made insulation to eliminate any petroleum products.
  • Custom white maple cabinets - metal drawer sides for inhalation safety.
  • All underground power and transformer located far from house.
  • All construction was with minimal formaldehyde and petroleum products (no plywood, glues, etc.).
  • All low VOC (volatile org. chemicals) paints used throughout.
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) system for drinking water.
  • All steel exterior to eliminate need for toxic paints/stains.

Return to the top of this page

Search Engines

Here are several search engines in case you wish to do more research from this page -

Updated '2-Jun-2014,15:02:20'