Is This a Common Household Toxin in Your Area?

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3:8
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Published Date:
10/22/2015
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Scott: So Oram, you help others dealing with toxins in the home or business and specifically dealing with electromagnetic fields.  Overall, in your experience, what's the most common household toxin you've come across?

Oram Miller: It depends on what part of the country.  We were discussing just now that you and I are both from the Twin Cities, you originally and I worked there for five years.  So there, mold is a big part of the mix.  And that has to do with the building practices in that part of the country, or the cold climates.  I actually co-wrote a book called Breathing Walls, which, with um, a builder in Texas who used to live in Iowa, so he's familiar with the cold climate, George Swanson.  And Breathing Walls, and then Wayne Federer who lives in Wisconsin, just outside of Minneapolis where I used to live, is also a co-author.  And what we have focused on is analyzing the methods of building construction that are prevalent to this day in the United States compared to the building biology professions, recommendations that come back, or go back 500 to 1000 years from the post and beam construction and daub and wattle construction of Europe that has prevailed to this day and does not allow mold to grow in these structures.  Whereas in the wood framed homes of American with the fiberglass insulation, oriented strand board sheathing on the outside and then a vapor barrier.  You have a chance for mold, or water, moisture in vapor form to get into that wall.  And if it's winter time and its 0 or 10 degrees fahrenheit outside, 70 degrees inside, you'll have a dew point somewhere in that wall and you have condensation.  So their solution is to build tight, ventilate right, which means tighten up all the perforations and ways in which that moisture laden warm air can migrate into the wall.  Problem is, you never do that fully.  It's a great concept on paper, but in reality, it's not possible to do that fully.  So when that moisture gets into that wall it will condense out and you'll have an inch or two of standing water in the bottom of that wall and they don't know what to do about it.  So the premise of the book, and this is all based on George's experience as a builder when he was in Iowa himself, and now he's in Austin, Texas, is to promote the design and construction of walls, that allow that moisture, which is inevitably going to get in there, to dry out within the 36 to 48 hour time period that you have from the onset of the moisture to the point where the mold that grows in that time period gets to the mycelia stage and produces these mold spores that get into the indoor air.  So that's why we call it a breathable wall, which doesn't mean that air infiltrates from the outside, we still keep that cold air out.  But we allow the moisture to dry out and that's what that term means, or hygroscopicity is another technical term for that.

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Oram Miller is specializes in recognizing and reducing toxins in the home. Find out what he's noticed as one of the common toxins he's found. He also discusses some of the preferred methods of reducing it as well.

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