Unbeknownst to most of their inhabitants many buildings are built with materials that not only are not sustainable but also can contain environmental toxins. One of the most common examples is lead-based paint. As recently as the early 1990’s it was common in
Many homes have been built using urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) that creates a relatively high indoor concentration of formaldehyde. And in fact, some houses built before the 1980’s might also be insulated with asbestos, a material known to cause mesothelioma cancer. Instead, green building construction workers have pioneered the use of soy bean-based foam as insulation because soy-based materials release no volatile chemicals or toxic emissions when used as insulation and are resistant to mold and mildew. Soy-based foams also significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, because they are able to be filled into the wall using pressurized water alone and offer such good quality insulation.
Ultimately, sustainable buildings immediate benefits of helping to save our planet are clearly not the only benefits associated with sustainability. In fact, sustainable building might end up being nearly as important to improving our health as yearly check-ups to the doctor, or a healthy diet!