Feeling sick after a renovation?
Are you thinking of renovating your home?
Add a new coat of paint, a new flooring and perhaps a new set of furnishings?
But before you embark on such a project, did you consider how the renovation work will impact your indoor air quality?
Read on to find out what you can do to build a healthier indoor living space.
Renovation works emit harmful chemicals indoors, particularly from new building and furnishing products which continuously release pollutants that remain on surfaces and linger in the air for long periods of time. These chemical pollutants such as formaldehyde cause poor indoor air quality which may lead to headaches, fatigue, respiratory irritation and reduce productivity.
For sensitive individuals, acute exposure can result in more severe sick building syndrome and lead to serious health implications. Research studies also suggest that long-term, high level exposure to some of these chemical pollutants may increase the risk of cancer.
What pollutants are commonly emitted after renovation?
Generally after renovation a high amount of air-borne chemical pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde are emitted from building products such as carpets, furniture and paint.
Another concern is lead-based paint, which could pose a danger to children and pregnant women, should dust and chips from the paint be inhaled or ingested.
Potential health effects from exposure to unhealthy levels of chemical pollutants in building products
Short term - Dry/watery eyes, headache, nausea, cough, breathlessness, tiredness, insomnia, respiratory and skin irritation.
Long term - Damage to liver, lung, kidney, central nervous system, and increased cancer risk.
In 2013, NEA received 12 complaints from building owners over health discomfort caused by renovation work. In some of these complaints, chemical pollutants like VOCs and formaldehyde were found to be at levels 10 times higher than the acceptable limit.
What can we do to protect ourselves?
Many manufacturers have developed greener alternatives in response to health concerns relating to the emission of chemicals from building products. Using green-labelled or low-VOC emission and low-formaldehyde products is one of the most effective way to protect yourself against harmful chemicals during renovation works.
Before you carry out any renovation, remember to ask for green-labelled or low-VOC and low-formaldehyde products.
At Haus furnishings & interiors, our German imported furnishings' manufacturers only use panel materials certified with the highest European standard of low formaldehyde emissions.
Having met all award requirements, our German furniture was awarded the highest emissions class of A by the Deutschen Gütegemeinschaft Möbel e.V. (German Association of Quality Furniture). (View Accreditations) (View Quality Assurance)
Increasing ventilation is the best way to reduce the level of chemical pollutants. Open windows to allow the air to flow in and dilute the accumulated air pollutants trapped indoors. Additional fans can be used to create a directional airflow, driving out polluted indoor air and bringing in outdoor air.
Use a suitable air cleaner with appropriate cleaning technology can improve the indoor air quality. The use of activated carbon filters is one of the most common adsorbent to remove gaseous pollutants.
To protect the health of you and your family, low formaldehyde emission, at Haus furnishings & interiors, that will always be one of our main focus.