Safer Building/Green Building
Please be aware of the difference between non-toxic or "safer" materials and those that are considered "green."
Green building practices and products are those that are considered to be good for the environment, which we applaud, but are not necessarily good for human health. For example, recycled products such as those made with plastics, rubber, and other petrochemical products help to keep these materials out of landfills, but they may not be healthy in terms of indoor air quality.
Increasingly, green building programs are addressing the issue of indoor air quality, with attention to products that emit no or low levels of VOCs into indoor air. VOCs, short for volatile organic compounds, are very small chemical molecules, which disperse into the air, or offgas, over time. Off-gassing is like a process of evaporation from solid surfaces. You canít see it happening, but when inhaled, those VOCs can be harmful to human health.
However, because green builders are more concerned about the environment and are already "thinking outside the box," they are likely to be aware of indoor air quality issues or at least open to considering them. So they are a good place to start. As always, ask for details.
We are fortunate to have the following local stores who supply green, non-toxic, and safer products right here in the Austin area.
Sustainable and less/nontoxic products for the home
Local source of many safer home products
City of Austin Green Building program
The Healthy Home Institute
John Bower's website about building an MCS friendly home
Natural Home Magazine
Inspiring magazine dedicated to healthy, non-toxic, environmentally sound homes
CONTACT US INFO@TXEH.ORG