The environmental quality directly affects total health and well-being. When you walk into a room or building, can you feel the energy? Does it make you feel refreshed or bring you down and depressed? Whether you’re sensitive to the environmental quality or not, the energy-quality will have a direct impact on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.
Indoor environmental toxins are not limited to chemical and biological substances. It also includes the quality of your site, architecture, interior, envelope and landscapes. Colours, shapes, sounds, and orientation also influence health and environmental quality.
For centuries, buildings were designed with nature’s own design laws, a holistic approach that we have forgotten in the past few decades. Today there is a need to become one again with nature, and as the green building industry moves forward on a sustainable path, it is acceptable to add more dimensions in architectural design.
Today’s modern technology and advanced communication capabilities has saturated our indoor environments with a new form of harmful pollution termed Electromagnetic Fields, also referred to as EMF. The ability to stay connected with people all over the world in an instant and collect information with our gizmos and gadgets has blinded most of the population on the dangers of wireless radiation due to the high concentrations in most homes, offices, and all other buildings.
EMF are all around in the built environment in different forms and come from a number of sources including electrical wiring and devices, wireless communication, energy-efficient lights, devices, and appliances. It can radiate into the indoor environment from indoor sources, or can be transmitted through building materials from outside sources from cell towers, roof top antennas, smart meters, electrical distribution wires, and more.
Scientists and medical doctors all over the world have identified it as the newest indoor environmental pollutant or toxin that has saturated the atmosphere of developed nations causing a variety of adverse health effects similar to sick-building syndrome symptoms and more. Unfortunately, there are currently no international consensus on guidelines and exposure limits. Canada and the U.S. have the highest safety limits in the world. It typically takes policies and regulations a decade or so to catch up on the scientific research on health – remember how long it took for cigarettes to leave the building?
To read more on the health effects visit www.bioinitiative.org for a 1500 page report written by medical doctors. It is also available in a condensed 26 page version.
Based on thousands of epidemiological and laboratory studies, many international governments have adopted the prudent avoidance principal or precautionary principal until research and government policies are on the same page.
Prudent avoidance is a precautionary approach to reduce potential risk to the general public through reasonable efforts and can vary among countries, governments, and local authorities as to the extent of action to be taken. In general, you would try to take a low-cost to no-cost approach to reduce the risk of adverse health effects.
What people need to understand is that all this modern day technology and communication devices are great, but it comes with a price and that is your health. According to a United Nations Report , approximately 6 out of 7 billion world population have access to a mobile phone which is more than people without proper sanitation. So you might wonder why has the government not set stricter safety limits if it’s so harmful? The answer is simple – our safety limits are outdated and it takes decades for scientific research to find definite mechanisms that link directly to adverse health effects like cancer.
In Canada, Wi-Fi or wireless communication uses microwave radiation and is governed by safety guidelines in Safety Code 6 (SC6). This standard was developed based on thermal effects (heating of tissue) for a 6-minute duration for a full grown man (200lbs, 6 feet) and was tested on a dummy head filled with electrolyte solution. It was originated from naval military radar research over 40 years ago – this was not tested for children, pregnant woman, or everyday people for more than 6 minutes. These safety limits do not consider biological or long term effects on the human body which is naturally electrical and absorbs radiation.
The safety guidelines vary considerably internationally. For example, Switzerland guidelines are 1 microW/cm2 and in Canada it is 1000 microW/cm². In Russia, exposure to 1000 W/cm² (SC6 guideline safe limit) is accepted for only 15 minutes a day. In Canada, children are exposed to high radiation levels all day at home and now in schools. The recommended safety limit in the Bio-Initiative Report (2012) is 0.1 microW/cm².
Just think of a microwave oven as a pressure cooker because it uses a higher radiation intensity, and our planet and indoor environments as a slow cooker because wireless technology uses less intensity. We may not see it, smell it, or taste it, but it is still has an impact on your health. Some people who are hyper-electrosensitive can even feel it and affects their quality of life. Children are most susceptible because it absorbs deeper into their body and can interfere with their development.
Bottom line, it just makes sense to use common sense and precaution. On a positive note, technology and communication devices CAN be used safely. You don’t have to give it all up – you just have to use it smarter and safer.
To learn more about how to use integrate low EMF exposure strategies in your home or office just us a call or register for one of our upcoming courses. Click to register for The Next Generation in Green Building Design – in Toronto TBD.
Creating sacred spaces is possible for everyone on any budget. Achieving a high quality indoor environment is beneficial for improving total health at the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.
A sacred space does not necessarily imply a “religious” place to perform rituals – it is a space that radiates a superior energetic quality that transcends time and space. I have seen people with chronic conditions that have stabilized and/or improved health.
The biggest challenge that I have today is not being able to effectively reach and teach people how to make simple changes in their indoor environments to drastically improve mood, behavior and overall health. So many people live in the dark, suffering from depression and other health issues unnecessarily. Of course, health issues need to be addressed by a professional medical practitioner. Changes in lifestyle will also improve overall health.
The quality of food you eat, the people you are around, the indoor environment, the things you watch and listen to, the thoughts that you think – all influence overall health. I’ve spent years researching this and have come to the conclusion that healing is possible and that prevention is the closest thing to the cure.
More will be written on this subject in the near future. I’ll be including some case studies and strategies to create sacred spaces.
When you walk into a room for the first time, can you feel the “vibe”? Most of us, whether your consciously aware of it or not, are affected by the indoor environmental quality on the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. Sometimes it’s the poor quality lighting, outdated furniture and decor, creaky doors and floors that can contribute to an eerie feeling and possibly cause your mind to play tricks on you.
What many people may not know is that there is a real, subtle, energy-quality that radiates throughout the space which most intuitive people can sense. Others can feel it, but are not consciously aware of how it is affecting them.
There are many factors that can make a space feel spooky and haunted. According to Professor Dr. Persinger, a cognitive neuroscientist at Laurentia University, creative “right-brained” people like musicians, artists, designers, and writers for example , have a greater chance in experiencing paranormal phenomenon such as audible and visual hallucinations after exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic energy.
Back in 2008, I first stumbled on the term EMF which stands for electromagnetic fields. I had watched a TV program where ghost hunters investigated and measured haunted homes with EMF equipment. An EMF reading would indicate the presence of a spiritual entity. This was a new concept to me, especially since I was a building scientist and accustomed to a wide range of building investigation equipment. This same year, I started my masters of building science degree and decided to research EMF’s from a building science perspective. For two years I focused each research paper from an EMF perspective, learning all about the negative health effects it has on building occupants.
For my first research paper, I decided to investigate if paranormal phenomenon could be classified as an indoor environmental issue since it could affect the health and well-being of building occupants. I argued that fear, a common emotion after having an unexplained experience, is not healthy for many reasons. People are naturally designed to react to stress, but chronic fear can lead to chronic stress, which can overexpose a person to cortisol and other stress hormones disrupting all your body’s processes. According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic stress increases the risk of numerous health problems, including: anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, memory and concentration impairment.
So yes, I do consider paranormal phenomenon as an indoor environmental issue. I can also confirm that you cannot measure spiritual entities with an EMF meter. Most of the time, inexperienced ghost hunters are picking up readings from electrical sources and/or plumbing current. However, it is important to take reports of unexplained experiences seriously because of the potential negative health impact, especially where children are concerned.
There are a number of practical solutions which involve improvements to the indoor environment including decreasing exposure to low-frequency EMF’s, improving quality of lighting, increase day-lighting to all rooms, use uplifting colours, clear out the clutter, repair air leaks and loose hinges, plumbing repairs, and more.
There are also holistic solutions available to mitigate negative subtle energies. Try Fung Shui – the traditional oriental art of furniture placement and energy balancing. It is known to be beneficial for health, business and relationships. Or try BioGeometry® Energy Systems – the art of energy-centering and correction of negative earth energy grids. Sleeping and working in negative earth crossings have consistently been shown to be harmful for health.
Transforming the indoor environmental quality by using practical and holistic strategies is extremely beneficial that will help improve health and total well-being.
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It’s an exciting time to first learn your having a baby, then actually getting all the “to do” items on your list completed as your nesting phase is almost complete.
You’ve had your baby shower and received beautiful blankets, toys, safety gadgets, and of course the essentials like the baby mobile and baby monitor. All of this is done in good spirit, happiness and joy with only the best interest for the health and safety of the new born baby.
A lot of times parents purchase products which they believe are safe, because why otherwise would it be sold in a store? But parents today are making the wrong choices – and it’s not their fault.
There are several things to consider when decorating your baby room – it should be safe, healthy, and environmentally harmonized. From a holistic approach, applying classical principals of Fung Shui, an ancient oriental art of furniture placement, will allow a positive energy flow into and through your home and nursery. From a scientific approach, reducing indoor environmental pollutants should be a top priority. Consider the following four strategies:
First – the baby monitor. There are several types on the market today and they are all wireless systems equipped with a transmitter and receiver using radio frequency digital signals at frequencies of 49MHz, 902MHz, 2.4GHz, and more recently 5.8GHz and 6.0GHz. These radio frequency signals are invisible waves of microwave radiation – a microwave oven operates at a frequency of 2.4GHz (gigahertz) which is the same frequency as some of the baby monitors. DECT baby monitors at 2.4, 5.8, or 6.0GHz are continuously emitting microwave radiation at low levels of 0.2 to 2.0 microW/cmsq. and usually placed right next to the crib. Studies have shown numerous health effects including rapid heartbeat – possibly a cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SID). The introduction of baby monitors in the 1980’s correlates with the rise in autism. The best choice is voice-activated baby monitors which only emit signals when a certain sound level is reached. Get rid of all microwave radiation emitting objects from the nursery.
Second – the baby mobile. I don’t know what modern baby does not have one of these over their crib, or should I say, over the baby. There are certain shapes, objects, and colours that just don’t radiate good quality energy, and it’s holistically measurable. Often I’ll see stuffed animals hanging over the baby – consider this like a heavy weight of bad energy on your baby, it’s just not healthy. It’s not just the image of the animal, but also the face that shapes contain a quality of energy as well. The wrong object combined with the wrong shape in just the wrong place to be can be harmful. Get rid of the mobile and watch your baby sleep peacefully.
Third – the metal crib. Metal surfaces are typically conductive and reflective to electricity and microwave radiation. Most unshielded buildings have high electric fields radiating from electrical lights, sockets, electronics and wiring which can ride along metal surfaces because of the nature of the material. Your baby should not be sleeping in a conductive crib. Scientific studies have shown negative biological health effects. Get rid of metal and go organic – wood or any other natural non-conducting natural material which also contains a good quality energy.
Fourth – the mirrors. It is known in Fung Shui that mirrors are like “portals”of bad energy. In our modern day, mirrors can also reflect microwave radiation off the surface and back into your baby. Most microwave radiation sources are generated from indoor baby monitors, cordless phones, cell phones, and can be transmitted from the outdoors to the indoors via the window. Correct placement of the mirror can solve the problem to ensure bad energy cannot be reflected back to the baby. Also, for more advanced options, the mirrors could be “tweaked” by a Fung Shui or Energy Balancer consultant.
We hope this article was useful. If you use any of these tips and notice an improvement in sleep or behavior, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!