Looking to Make Your Home Healthier? Start Here!

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4:40
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Published Date:
10/30/2015
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Scott: When I did some research on you, you help people actually design and do some remodeling with their homes and businesses.  What sort of design aspects go into helping with indoor toxins that people might not know about?

Oram Miller: Well, there's a whole set of protocols that we teach in the building biology profession.  And the website for our profession is hbelc dot org.  My website is www dot createhealthyhomes dot com.  The building biology profession now has three seminars that they offer and I'm on the faculty for the electromagnetic fields seminar at the beginning and advanced level.  So that's one seminar that covers all aspects of electromagnetic fields, from building wiring, electric fields and magnetic fields that they produce, and then radio frequencies from all the wireless devices that we have in our home.  And then the so called dirty electricity. 

But then in addition to that, we have two more five day seminars at the beginning level that cover indoor air quality, so everything to do with mold, chemical outgassing, radon, asbestos, lead, natural gas, and all of those issues.  And then a separate five day course on natural building materials.  So that would mean choosing materials that either promote mold growth, not knowingly, but that is the result.  Or materials that do not promote mold growth and also that are natural, non toxic, non outgassing.  They're always more expensive, but in the words of our late founder, Helmut Ziehe, who founded the American and Canadian or North American branch of the building biology profession.  He moved from Germany to the United States.  After spending a year in England he came here 27 or 28 years ago.  Founded the International Institute for Bau-Biologie and Ecology in the US.  Bau being the German word for building, biololgie, bau-biologie is the way they pronounce it in Germany.  We call it building biology here.  He passed away a couple years ago from a stroke.  But the profession is going strong.  We have a few hundred graduates, who are, many of whom are certified as building biology environmental consultants.  Now we have a new track called the electromagnetic radiation specialists, focusing on EMFs.  

So the building biology profession has protocols that we teach our students to work with clients that are either chemically sensitive or electrically sensitive.  Like 70 percent of my clients, but they are 3 to 5 percent of the nations population.  But these are people that are made ill by these toxic sources, whether its electromagnetic fields, indoor air quality issues, chemical out gassing, building materials that are toxic.  So they need our help to work with their architect, building, electrical contractor and their subs to make sure that the materials that are used are non toxic and promote as healthy an environment as possible.  But 30 percent of my clients don't have a sensitivities, they just want a healthy home.  That's both for EMFs and in the days when I did the whole scope, including indoor air quality.  So, what Helmut used to say to us, in Germany, if someone was interested in health and had a limited budget or a certain budget for their building project, they would not compromise on the building biology principles.   They would make a smaller footprint.  And that's the attitude they have there.  In America, it's all different.  It's just put them up, as a developer, build them as quickly as you can, maximize your profit and then you move on.  And these buildings don't last more than... you know they start to decompo... they have problems from the start.  Flashing not done right, mold developing in the walls, the whole concept as I mentioned of vapor barriers, not allowing drying out of the moisture that does get into the wall, electromagnetic fields from top to bottom, ah, a lot of toxicity.   

Now actually, that has changed.  There is more awareness of mold, and chemical out gassing.  So you have carpet manufacturers now that have removed formaldehyde quietly, quietly, from their formulas under the pressure of parent groups in the '90s.  So there are changes that have been made.  You can get non toxic paint at Home Depot, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, all of these major brands now have non toxic or no voc lines that cost more, but they're healthy and we promote them.

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Oram Miller specializes in helping people build or remodel their homes in a healthy, non-toxic way. Find out some of the ways he does this as well as some things you can do to help reduce toxins in your own home!

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