|With the industrial revolution, humanity gained access to technologies that have a far greater potential for abuse and destruction than ever before. Authenticity and sustainability of natural building materials were overlooked in favour of convenience. As a result, environmental illnesses are a reality now, including sick building syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity. These illnesses may not decrease our lifespan, but they certainly decrease the quality of life. Degenerative diseases are currently the number one death cause in the modern world, and are often related to environmental factors.|
The World Health Organization (WHO) states: “One quarter of all diseases are caused by environmental exposures.” The health insurance companies confirm: “Thirty percent of all those insured have become sick due to environmental reasons.”
In our “civilised world we spend more time indoors than ever before. We sleep in closed bedrooms where the AC keeps us cool and the carbon dioxide high. We live in closed spaces filled with chemically treated furniture and finishes, appliances and installations which create a constant stress on our body and mind. We drive in air conditioned cars, work in air conditioned offices. For recreation we go to the closed space of gym, or movie theatre. We surround ourselves with cell phones and Wi-Fi, 24 hours a day. Many can say with certainty that they spend more than 90% of their time in an artificially created environment. So when talking about illnesses due to environmental reasons, it is mainly due to our indoor environment.
In building biology, nature is our best guide, advocate, and resource. Once the natural balance is disturbed, it is foolish to believe that there would be no consequences over time. Life-threatening chaos always takes over when the fundamental harmony of the life-sustaining cosmos is out of balance. Any interference with natural processes results in disastrous consequences sooner or later, each and every time. Nature does not take revenge, nature responds bio…logically. Leave nature be! It cannot be improved. Creation does not need extra tutoring. Nature does not need us, but we do need nature. We can search from Alaska to the Tierra del Fuego, from Siberia to Australia, on top of the mountain and down at the bottom of the valley: In nature, we won’t find a single living organism whose potential lights up with several volts, nor one that is saturated with current and wireless radiation; there is no place covered with synthetics that strike sparks, the compass needle does not point south when its north, no permethrin to be found anywhere or carbon dioxide levels of 2000 ppm. For as long as the world turns, nothing like this will occur. Only in the bed of Aunt Frieda do these things occur, and in every third bed of the so-called civilized world.
Nature is the standard of all standards; there is no other. Anybody who does not understand this is reckoning without the host. We are part of nature. There is no distinction between humans and nature; nature is the foundation of our life and vice versa. How can a part be smarter than the whole? Nature is perfect, life a miracle, and earth the paradise. Whatever we do to nature, we do to ourselves. Anybody who does not grasp that only those who live in harmony can be in balance must expect consequences. Anybody who does not comprehend that freedom can only be the result of our unconditional acceptance of the life-sustaining laws of nature has his or her very own fixed idea of freedom. —Wolfgang Maes—
Since a few decades we can find many issues in our indoor air which we did not find in the natural environment in which we evolved for over ten thousands of years.
Due to bad ventilation the composition of the air is changing a lot. Air conditioners have become a necessity in many bedrooms, while in order to save energy no ventilation is taking place, as a result an increase of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a waste product of our body, and in higher quantities it becomes toxic. Carbon dioxide levels should not exceed 700 ppm. At the end of the night levels of more than 3000 ppm are common in air conditioned bedrooms.
When the ventilation is poor the concentration of chemical pollutants can increase depending on the pollutants we have introduced in our bedroom. Formaldehyde is common in plywood, fibre board, carpet rugs and glues. Many pesticides can be detected in the sheets and blankets we use to cover ourselves with while sleeping. Wood preservatives, often completely abundant, release their chemicals in the unventilated bedroom. Without ventilation the air will be charged with positive ions due to the electrical appliances, especially air conditioners. Positively charged ions have a negative effect on the serotonin balance. Serotonin is the hormone that gives us life energy, a dis-balance can lead to a heavy mood, and even to mental depression. In case of fungus, the spurs containing mycotoxins remain and accumulate in the unventilated bedroom.
Air conditioners without fresh air inlet may give a short term comfort, the effects on the long term should not be ignored.
Looking in most bedrooms we can find people sleeping on a bed which is electrically isolated from the earth. Surrounded by wires and appliances, cell phone and cordless phone stand by within reach, Wi-Fi turned on to make sure not to miss any tweet. All this is building up stress on our body at a time where our bodies need to relax, to regenerate.
Environmental toxins weaken the immune system, possibly leading to many chronic diseases. It can take up to seven years between the exposure to a toxin and the onset of a disease. Frequently, it is not only about individual toxins, but about a multitude of harmful physical, chemical and biological exposures. Acute diseases are diagnosed and treated by occupational health care professionals. Environmental diseases, however, are about chronic diseases. In medicine, it is still pretty controversial how different substances cause damage in the body. Currently, the following model by Prof. Dr. Rea, one of the best known environmental physicians in North America, is in use:
The total body load is depicted as a barrel. Only when the harmful physical, chemical, electrical, and biological exposures become so numerous that the barrel starts to overflow, indicating an overburdening of the whole body, will a disease break out.
The barrel of the weaker in our society (infants, children, pregnant women, chronically ill people and elderly) will overflow sooner than the barrel of the physical strong.
Environmental protection starts at home. Environmentally induced stress factors occur more often in indoor than outdoor environments. In our own home, we can take charge and have a true chance of correcting things. Take your destiny in your own hands. Keep your immediate environment, that is, your “third skin” or own four walls safe, especially your bedroom.
Building biology, it is all about healthy buildings, natural living spaces. A living space low in risk factors, but promoting life, vitality, and regeneration. Building biology. A young science. It is emerging rather late. Too late? Many answers have already been found. Many questions are still open, and more questions have not even be asked yet. I look back at many years of experience and many building biology assessments. Many people could find help. Many afflictions did disappear when homemade environmental stress caused by electromagnetic fields, radioactive radiation, toxic, microbiological, or indoor air quality factors was removed. Many patients and medical doctors are thrilled. Me, too
Where is science in all this? Burning tax dollars to “prove” that harmful exposures cannot do any harm? Where is research done independently, free of economic and political interests? Who still wants to know the truth? Science is reduced to helping industry and claims to be the leading standard. We put an unshakable faith in the all-knowing sciences: At the most, science knows more than one percent—not more than that. Science does not know yet why cancer develops—being number one cause of death by now—or MS or other autoimmune diseases. Science does not know why humans fall in love with each other, why wild geese migrate south and eels to the Sargasso Sea near the Caribbean Sea. Science has no clue how the endless, sneaky, destructive, even criminal exploitation caused by human activity can be controlled, mastered, not to mention stopped. Where are the politicians? They hide behind the all-powerful and yet so powerless science and cover up the greed of industry with inhumane regulations not worthy of nature. Is economic growth allowed to be the only goal? For how long and in which direction is the economy supposed to grow? And at which cost?
Artificial is not a replacement for biological. Culture is not a replacement for nature. Having is not a replacement for being. Talking is not a replacement for acting. Knowledge is not a replacement for wisdom. Intellect is not a replacement for intelligence. Progress does not justify self-indulgence. Fashion is not an excuse for excess. Power is not a license for exploitation. Money is not a guarantor of happiness. And ignorance does not protect against consequences. —Wolfgang Maes—