Uncovering our Surroundings

Healthier Wall, Fresher Air

The air we breathe in impacts our health greatly. Daily, we spend about 90% of our time indoors, and coupled with the rising level of air pollution outdoors, it is also a common myth that it is safer and healthier to stay indoors. However, in a study conducted by the United States of America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air quality indoors leave much to be desired, as it is anywhere between 2 to 5 times, or even 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors. This situation invariably poses greater health risks that we would have thought.

A good look at our surroundings- namely our homes and our office buildings- reveal that 80% of these places are surrounded by closed walls. A little known fact is that an enclosed building by itself causes many health hazards to those who are within it. Most building materials that make up these buildings contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as formaldehyde, which are classified as carcinogenic pollutants, linked directly to lung cancer.

In addition, whether we like it our not, most office buildings are equipped with air-conditioning and are not as well ventilated as we would like them to be. With poor ventilation, chemical substances discharged from furniture and construction materials could potentially cause sore eyes and sore throats, leading to larger health problems such as various allergies and asthmatic conditions. Hence, it is essential that we reexamine the indoor air quality of our buildings.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the air in the indoor environment within a house, building, an institution or commercial facility. Factors influencing indoor air quality would include the following:

  • Lack of good air ventilation
  • Contamination arising from sources within the building (e.g., combustion products including carbon monoxide and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS); volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as the cancer-causing formaldehyde, from building materials, fabric furnishings, carpet, adhesives, fresh paint, new paneling, and cleaning products; ozone emitted from office equipment; and mold from water damage.
  • Microbial contamination of ventilation systems or building interiors.

Poor indoor air quality in your home, school or workplace can cause a number of health problems, such as asthma, allergies, coughs, wheezes, dizziness, nausea, headaches, inability to concentrate, short-term memory loss and hyperactivity. Babies and children may be especially vulnerable to the poor air quality.

While there is no universal solution, complementary ways to control aspects of our indoor air quality still exist. Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to minimize or to eliminate the use of products and materials that cause indoor pollution; employ good hygiene practices to minimize biological and chemical contaminants and use good housekeeping practices to control particles, dust, pollen, bacteria and mold.

Our Japanese wall is made up of natural sand, natural clay, diatomaceous earth and straw. Made with diatomaceous earth, a natural material from riverbeds and marines, it is created for those who appreciate natural beauty and who desire healthy, zen-like environments.

It is a healthy alternative to paint and wallpaper which not only filters bad air, but is also easy to maintain. Most importantly, Japanese Wall is made up of non-VOC, Non-Formaldehyde water-based materials which also serves as a good heat insulator and humidity controller.

A good control of the home and office environment is very important in the areas of asthma and allergy care. Breathing clean indoor air promotes good health, more energy, better sleep and helps prevent chronic respiratory diseases later in life. It helps to eliminate the health problems, which crop up as a result of the crotch lining sick house syndrome, and to maintain a clean interior environment for us to live in. We would then be able to celebrate a healthy lifestyle and live longer.