Health And Hope

Health And Hope

Using The Gifts Of Creation

How are you? Are you well?

Health rules
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Food as medicine


Will Power

Fresh Air

> Sick building syndrome
> Green vegetables
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Trust in God

The hope perspective

If there is a God why does he allow suffering?


In our cities there are muggings, rape, burglaries, and other crimes, including bribery and corruption, vandalism and abuse. You can maybe add more, and sadly so evenfrom your own personal experience. There are people who are afraid to go out, because they feel so vulnerable.

But there are other problems with living in cities too. We call it sick building syndrome.

New buildings look attractive and are built to high standards and specifications, but they are all but airtight. If we consider the average city dweller, he or she is in a building except for about sixty minutes each day. That is probably the time taken during the day to walk from the car to the office or to the corner shop and back, and that walk is always taken between buildings. When you think of how we travel, it is in enclosed transport, or even underground, with its characteristic smell.
Those buildings where we spend most of our lives are being discovered to be a real source of health problems in themselves. The air in the buildings is recirculated, we stay in the same work room for hours on end, and breathe the same air in and out for days on end. The same
substances from manmade products in the buildings are absorbed into our bodies with no relief for many days of our lives.
Old buildings had windows and these were opened at times which allowed in a fresh current of air. It has been found that workers moving from these buildings to the newer buildings have complaints that, until more recent research, had been considered to be something we were imagining - runny sniffy noses, headaches, tiredness, more difficulty in breathing, even feelings of nausea. These are now being traced to living in sealed, energy efficient, and more secure buildings.
We hear of outdoor pollution, but these problems can be the result of indoor pollution.
  • This indoor pollution can be biological like the serious germs that cause Legionnaires disease and live in the ventilation systems of some large buildings.
  • Other problems come from the infectious particles that are sneezed or coughed out somewhere in the building and are circulated in the ventilation systems of the building. This can happen on aircraft too, where the air is recycled over the length of the journey.
  • Also in modern energy efficient buildings there are moulds, bacteria, and viruses, and added to these are dust, particles of animal origin - we are shedding skin and hair all the time. This can result in increased asthma.
Other problems in buildings designed to be energy efficient are from things like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. Carbon dioxide is breathed out by us all, nitrogen dioxide comes from fossil fuels and so is released when we use gas cookers or gas heating. This is why we need adequate ventilation with gas. Ozone is a by- product of electrical motors e.g. photocopying machines. It is also thought that there is some relation between neon strip lights and pollutants in office buildings that causes what is termed 'photochemical smog' in the workplace. All these make us feel less than well, reduce concentration, make us unable to see so sharply, or cause respiratory difficulties.

When you add to this the chemicals used in such work places or energy efficient homes - sprays, cleaning fluids, glues, alcohols in fragrances, pesticides - the list goes on and on. In insulating materials we can find formaldehyde. This is the substance used for embalming. Radon can also be present in certain areas. It comes from granites, some cements and plaster or it can radiate into the house from the soil the property is built on.

What can we do to avoid these build-ups of potentially damaging substances?

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