We exercise, eat right and refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking to maintain health. But, what if our homes could also help us live longer and heathier? National home expert & environmental consultant Caroline Blazovsky is doing just that. She is teaching her homeowners how to improve wellness by looking for problems in their homes. “Hidden problems in the home can lead to health issues”, she states. “By teaching Americans how to test their home for toxins and look for environmental issues at home we can hope that we can extend lives by at least 10 years”.
Blazovsky has been investigating and changing residential homes for over 20 years to reflect her vision of a healthier home. She has worked as an environmental investigator helping homeowners address health complaints by checking homes for contaminants and suggesting healthier building practices. She currently operates a national environmental testing and solutions company – My Healthy Home– that helps homeowners assess their residences. Clients have many complaints from headaches to chronic colds and flu, as well as autoimmune disease and allergies. David Applebaum, an architect known for design driven celebrity homes in Los Angeles, California added “ that with all the things people are doing to live healthier lives, the easiest way to improve your health starts and stops at your home”.
Blazovsky has uncovered that many homes are laden with environmental challenges. They have too many allergens like pets, dust or even left over debris from the construction process. Homes now have high exposure to VOCS (volatile organic compounds) from paints, gasoline, heating fuels, personal care products and other chemicals stored in the home. Applebaum concurs “ that as we are trying to create more energy efficient homes, but leave occupants as if they were living in a zip lock bag. He continues “who would want to live in zip lock bag with even a drop of anything dangerous?”
Most recently, Blazovsky sees more homeowners being exposed to pesticides, herbicides and other issues from energy efficient building. She states “that homes have become tighter in their construction allowing for less use of energy to heat or cool them, but homeowners do not realize these changes mean changing the way we store and use products in the home. You have less ventilation and a slower rate of air exchange, which means the air quality can more easily become compromised.
Chris Gray, owner of Air Duct Cleaning Solutions, a company that specializes in air duct cleaning in Toms River, New Jersey notices the wellness benefits that homeowners achieve when they work with Blazovsky to remove contaminants like mold or allergens from the home. Blazovsky and Gray have been working side by side for over 20 years to correct indoor air quality problems. “Homeowners will complain of not feeling well in the house and visit their physicians with health complaints, after Caroline finishes testing and correcting problems in the home like the HVAC and duct work, clients definitely feel better.”
According to the Center for Climate Sciences at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California “Within the scientific community it’s a relatively well-accepted fact that as global temperatures increase, extreme precipitation will very likely increase as well.” Blazovsky concurs that within the last 10 years increasing size of storms, heavy rains and wind have contributed to more mold growth and water intrusion in homes. As these issues become more prevalent, occupants may become more susceptible to allergies and immune diseases in their environments. With the help of Blazovsky, clients are starting to see their homes become healthier and can be more prepared to address home issues that may face them in the future. She challenges Americans to start looking at their home as a way to improve overall wellness.