INTERIOR TOXICITY 

How do you Detoxify the Interior of a New Home

I have read several articles regarding toxicity of new home materials such as carpeting, paint and varnish. We built a new home four years ago and I am wondering how long the toxicity of these materials lasts. Should we consider some kind of air filer, or is opening windows sufficient?

- Gary in Prescott Valley

Gary, in general toxicity of average new home materials will last about a year, decreasing over time. After four years, you can probably assume your building materials are fairly safe. There may, however, be some items that still have harmful emissions, depending on the materials they are made from. Some carpeting can emit harmful odors after many years, but again, the emissions diminish with time. Here is a recommendation for detoxing new homes: Once the structure is finished, before you move in, close up all the doors and windows, turn up the heat as high as possible until the temperature feels too hot for you to comfortably remain in the room and bake it for 3-5 days. This will cure and age materials and finishes to seem about a year old. Generally air filters are not necessary, opening windows is sufficient and the fresh, outdoor oxygenated air is a better source of ventilation than filtered air. There are a variety of paints and materials on the market now that do not contain toxins and is eco-safe and do not cause chemical sensitivity.

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