Research Studies & Articles

Air Quality

This in-depth overview of indoor air quality by the Environmental Protection Agency describes the short-term health effects (irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue) and the long-term health effects (respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer) from indoor air pollutants.

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Exposure to fine particulate air pollutants may increase the risk of developing dementia, according to a recent meta-analysis from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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A Guardian article cites recent research indicating that the chemicals and carcinogens from gas appliances create indoor pollution that’s worse than car traffic.

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Water Quality

Tap water that is treated with chlorine creates disinfection byproducts that are extremely toxic, according to this National Institutes of Health article. There is epidemiological evidence of a close relationship between exposure to these byproducts and cancers of vital organs in humans.

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This Natural Resources Defense Council article explains the results of their survey conducted regarding the number of lead pipes servicing U.S. homes.

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An Environmental Science & Technology study estimates that 200 million Americans could have the deadly fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS in their drinking water. PFASs are also known as “forever chemicals” for the obvious reason that they never break down in the environment.

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Mold & Mycotoxins (MVOCs)

The Sleep Foundation cites research that suggests that mold exposure may negatively affect sleep. In one large study, exposure to household molds increased insomnia, snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.

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A study conducted the National Institutes of Health shows that mold exposure during the first year of life may increase the risk of childhood asthma.

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The National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information reports on the harmful effects of mycotoxins.

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Researchers from Rutgers University and Emory University found that a compound emitted by mold, could be linked to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

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The purpose of this EPA Mold Basics Guide is to offer homeowners and renters valuable insights and recommendations to effectively address and mitigate mold issues in residential settings. It also provides essential tips for averting mold growth in the first place.

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Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Exposure to VOCs is often higher in the home – up to 10 times higher – than outdoors. Cleaning products, personal care products, and furniture are some main causes according to this Environmental Science & Technology study.

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A recent study in Cell Reports Physical Science found that that “new car smell” can contain formaldehyde, benzene, and other chemicals that could irritate your skin, eyes, nose, and throat and even cause cancer.

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­Air fresheners emit over 100 chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes – some of which are associate with different types of cancer in high doses.

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Air pollution triggered by the use of common chemicals and fuels may kill 10 times more people than previously recognized, according to a new study by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Here is everything you always wanted to know about Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), including further definitions and explanations of the different types of VOCs - SVOCs (Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds) and VVOCs (Very Volatile Organic Compounds.

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VOCs are harmful by themselves, but they can also interact with other gases and form additional air pollutants.

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Electromagnetic Fields

This Frontiers article describes psychological effects of excessive smartphone use in children. Smartphone use is associated with difficulties in cognitive-emotion regulation, impulsivity, impaired cognitive function, addiction to social networking, shyness, and low self-esteem.

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IARC’s international researchers made the classification based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.

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The 30-million-dollar National Institutes of Health’s NTP study is the most comprehensive assessment, to date, of health effect in animals exposed to radiofrequency radiation.

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In 1990, a cancer cluster was identified in La Quinta, CA. The local middle school staff and students developed three times the number of cancer cases typically found in that environment. Epidemiologist Samuel Milham, M.D. determined “dirty electricity” was the cause. His conclusions are disputed by local officials and the controversy continues.

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Research from the Cleveland Clinic shows men who use their cell phones for more than four hours each day had the lowest average sperm count and motility and the lowest numbers of normal, viable sperm.

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Radon & Combustible Gases

Several studies show definitive evidence of an association between radon in homes and lung cancer. Read more about the Iowa Radon Lung Cancer Study and a collaborative analysis of numerous case-controlled studies of residential radon and lunch caner.

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Radon is a pervasive gas found both outdoors and indoors. There is no safe level of radon, so it is crucial to rid your home of radon as much as possible. This EPA Guide describes radon’s health risks, and ways you can test your home and reduce radon if it’s present.

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In this Environmental Science & Technology article, researchers found that annual methane emissions from all gas stoves in U.S. homes have a climate impact comparable to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of 500,000 cars.

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Lighting

At night, light throws the body's biological clock—the circadian rhythm—out of whack. Sleep suffers. Worse, research shows that blue light may contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, according to a Harvard study.

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Research presented at the American Society of Neuroscience found that night exposure to even the dim light of a computer or TV screen is linked to depression in animal studies.

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Sound

A growing body of research shows that chronic noise is a largely unrecognized health threat that is increasing the risk of hypertension, stroke, and heart attacks worldwide, including for more than 100 million Americans.

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Aside from health outcomes, hearing loss has implications for the workplace. Those who have hearing loss are more likely to be less productive at work and underemployed or unemployed.

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