Ignorance does not protect against consequences

Ignorance does not protect against consequences.

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 favor 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 our quality of life.  Degenerative diseases are currently the number one cause of death in the modern world, and are often related to environmental factors.

In the bustle of our modern lives, we’ve become indoor creatures. We start our days in cozy, air-conditioned bedrooms, commute in our climate-controlled cars, and spend our workdays in offices where the air is just as managed. It’s a shift that’s made us more disconnected from the natural world than ever before, and it’s something worth thinking about.
You see, the World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted a thought-provoking fact: over 25% of diseases are linked to environmental factors. This is a statistic that health insurance companies are also echoing. It’s not a straightforward equation, but there’s a growing understanding that the artificial climates we’ve created inside may play a big part in these environmental diseases. Nature, in all its beauty and complexity, is a fundamental benchmark in building biology, yet we find ourselves moving further away from it.

When it comes to medical education, the journey is usually linear and deeply analytical, funneling professionals into specialties. However, the intriguing field of environmental medicine calls for a broader, more holistic perspective. This branch of medicine looks at how our surroundings, including the myriad toxins in our homes and workplaces, impact our health. It’s a complex blend, and the challenge is that not every toxin comes with a clear-cut exposure limit, especially when considering the interactions between multiple substances.

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—


In recent years, a growing concern has emerged regarding the quality of the air within our homes, particularly in our bedrooms, spaces where we spend a significant portion of our lives. This concern stems not from the natural world in which humanity has evolved over millennia, but from the modern environments we’ve constructed around ourselves. A notable issue is the alteration of air composition due to inadequate ventilation practices, exacerbated by our reliance on air conditioning systems. These systems, while providing temporary relief from external temperatures, often operate in sealed environments to conserve energy, leading to a significant rise in carbon dioxide levels. It’s a concerning fact that carbon dioxide, a byproduct of human respiration and potentially toxic in high concentrations, can reach levels upwards of 3000 ppm in such settings, far exceeding the recommended maximum of 700 ppm.

The implications of poor ventilation extend beyond just elevated carbon dioxide levels. Our bedrooms, often laden with chemical pollutants from household items such as plywood, carpeting, and various glues, can see an increase in substances like formaldehyde and various pesticides. These chemicals, alongside wood preservatives, are released into the air we breathe nightly. Furthermore, the lack of fresh air circulation can lead to an accumulation of positively charged ions, negatively impacting our serotonin balance, a key factor in regulating mood and energy levels. The presence of mold and its mycotoxins in these unventilated spaces poses an additional health risk, highlighting the critical need for proper air circulation.

Adding to the complexity of this issue is our modern lifestyle, which often includes sleeping in beds electrically isolated from the earth, surrounded by electronic devices such as cell phones, cordless phones, and Wi-Fi routers, all of which contribute to an environment of electromagnetic stress. These elements disrupt our bodies’ natural relaxation and regeneration processes during sleep.

This situation calls for a measured, evidence-based approach to improve our indoor air quality and, by extension, our health and well-being. Simple yet effective strategies can make a significant difference, such as ensuring adequate ventilation in bedrooms, reducing the use of chemical-laden products, and minimizing electronic devices in our sleeping areas. These actions are not just about enhancing air quality; they’re about fostering environments that support our health and happiness. Engaging with these practices presents an opportunity for each of us to make a positive change in our lives, encouraging a deeper connection with our environments and a more conscientious approach to our daily routines.

The interplay between environmental toxins and the immune system is a complex and pressing concern, with potential implications for the development of chronic diseases. The lag between exposure to a toxin and the manifestation of disease, which can span up to seven years, underscores the insidious nature of these environmental threats. It’s crucial to recognize that the risk often stems not from a single toxin, but from the cumulative impact of various harmful exposures—physical, chemical, biological, and even electrical. While acute diseases stemming from occupational hazards are within the purview of occupational health specialists, the domain of environmental health delves into the realm of chronic conditions, a field still fraught with debate and uncertainty in medical circles.

A conceptual model introduced by Prof. Dr. Rea, a leading figure in environmental medicine in North America, offers a vivid analogy to understand the impact of these exposures on health. He likens the body’s total burden of harmful exposure to a barrel. This “barrel” can only hold so much before it overflows, a metaphor for the point at which the cumulative load of various toxins triggers the onset of disease. This model highlights that the capacity to withstand environmental stressors varies significantly among individuals, with vulnerable populations such as infants, children, pregnant women, the chronically ill, and the elderly reaching their tipping points more swiftly than others.

The message here is both a caution and a call to action. Environmental protection, as daunting as it may seem, begins in the sanctity of our homes. It’s within these personal spaces that we encounter numerous stress factors, more so than in outdoor environments. Recognizing our homes as our “third skin,” it becomes apparent that safeguarding our immediate surroundings, particularly our bedrooms, is not just a matter of personal health but a profound responsibility.

This perspective empowers individuals to take proactive steps toward reducing their environmental health risks. By making informed choices about the materials and products we bring into our homes, minimizing our exposure to electro pollution, and ensuring proper ventilation, we can significantly mitigate the cumulative burden of toxins. Adopting such measures isn’t merely about averting potential health issues; it’s about embracing a lifestyle that prioritizes well-being, sustainability, and resilience. In doing so, we not only protect ourselves and our loved ones but also contribute to the broader imperative of environmental stewardship, fostering a healthier, more sustainable world for future generations.

Building biology is all about healthy buildings and 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. Is it too late? Many answers have already been found. Many questions are still open, and more questions have not even been 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 exposure 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 what cost?

Artificialy 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—