Article of Interest: Our Buildings Are Making Us Sick

indoor air quality buildings making us sick tilt hoffman

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

Our buildings are making us sick” from Vox.

Whether we notice it or not, the air we breathe indoors can make us sick. For most of us, it’s not an industrial printer that’s contaminating the air: It could be the pollution from our ovens and stoves or the chemicals off-gassed from everyday household cleaners, or it could be the respiratory diseases exhaled by others we share our spaces with. Our indoor air can become toxic without us realizing it — but indoor spaces aren’t always designed with this in mind.
The technology and the human knowledge necessary to improve indoor air exist. But despite decades’ worth of science linking dirty indoor air with threats to human health, the public has simply learned to tolerate poor indoor air quality and all the downstream problems that follow in its wake. We are the frog that’s boiled.

Read the full article from Vox.

How chemically sensitive are you?

Answer these three questions from the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!

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