20 June 2019 The Harvard Gazette Colleen Walsh: Is your home making you sick?

21 June 2019 by Jason Quinn

Good summary of healthy homes via indoor environmental quality — starting with healthy indoor air.

“Home is where the heart is. It’s a figurative expression but it’s literal too because it’s actually where your heart is spending a majority of its time,” said one of the report’s lead authors, Joe Allen, who heads the School’s Healthy Buildings program. “The home influences heart health, brain health, hormone health, mental health, all these factors. We know what a healthy meal looks like. We know that exercise is good for you and that pollution is bad for you. But we know a lot less about the places where we spend all of our time.”

“When we cook most of us aren’t thinking that we are fundamentally changing the air quality inside our home, but making a meal can generate a lot of particles,” said Allen. (The Environmental Protection Agency defines particulate matter as matter containing microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems.) “In your kitchen you can generate levels that look like a bad outdoor-air-pollution day in Beijing or Los Angeles, and depending on your type of ventilation, or if you don’t have an exhaust over your stove, those levels can get high and stay high.

Content by The Harvard Gazette.

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