Toxic Apartment Making You Sick? Call an Expert
We recently examined some ways to spring clean your home with particular attention to overlooked germ spots, but detoxifying the home takes it to a whole new level. If you think this cleaning regimen should be left to homeowners, you are wrong -- your pre-war New York apartment, turn-of-the-century Chicago townhouse or 1930s California beachside bungalow can all be detoxified and provide you with a safer home environment.
With the increase in environmentally-based ailments, people are looking for ways to clean their surroundings. That's where Matt Waletzke and Healthy Dwellings come in.
In parts one and two of Rented Spaces' spring cleaning series we told you about Dr. Germ and Laura Dellutri who work in the germ-fighting arena (remember that nugget about your toilet being the better option to make a sandwich on than your kitchen counter?) While you can do things like heat items to the proper temperature to kill bacteria, etc., detoxifying your apartment takes an expert.
Healthy Dwellings is a company which evaluates homes' "toxic exposure" and offers solutions. They offer a free 30-minute phone consultation or, as seen in a recent New York Timesarticle, a $375 in-home evaluation that includes a report and detox prescription. Penelope Green, the article's author thought, as most people living in apartments or rental situations do, that there was nothing to be done that would help their situation ("I was curious just how "toxic" a New York City apartment might be, with its 80-year-old plumbing, trucks rumbling by and cellphone antennas sprouting from tenement roofs across the street.") Waletzke shows her.
So what does detoxifying mean? For Green's healthy home evaluation Waletzke looked into "the air, water and building materials, as well as [her] cleaning products and cosmetics, for toxins. He also tested for electromagnetic radiation and moisture intrusion. And as Certified Building Biologist Environmental Consultants they take a holistic approach to treating your home. (Click here to find out what they prescribed for Green.)
A resident in Santa Monica, Calif. that I know has been complaining to his landlord for years about the water damage in his apartment. The landlord recently, and reluctantly, had a team go in to take out the damaged areas and the mold tests were through the roof. However, the landlord did not do the recommended prescription for such damage, and instead just cut out the water damaged areas, leaving the rest of the drywall and home untreated.
People try and cut costs, but companies like Healthy Dwellings offer real solutions to problems. The website has a blog which links to useful items like Forbes' "The Most Toxic Home Products" - in other words, these consultants aren't going to use harsh chemicals to get rid of your harsh chemicals!
While he does offer good information that may not change one's lifestyle (cleaning filters in your air conditioner, etc) there is one bit that caught me off my aromatherapy guard: candles are not good for air quality. Ah, the price of detoxifying.
According to Healthy Dwellings site, people spend 90% of their time indoors so this is where so many health issues originate. By detoxifying your home, you are creating a safer and much healthier environment.