Today’s post is a guest contribution by Krista Peterson.

As more and more people continue to take on holistic lifestyles, it seems the benefits of doing so continue to grow in awareness. As has been shown through many examples, when it comes to the actual building process, using materials such as earthbags can not only keep sustainability at a maximum, but also come at a low cost, while still giving the option of traditional or new designs that defy conventionality. What is not as well known, however, is that using an option like earthbags for building can cut down health risks that may be present in some older building structures.

Many people looking into earth bag building may be on the fence for different reasons such as cost, time, or just to gain more knowledge. For some that may be interested while currently living in some older homes, a switch to using earth bags can be particularly beneficial to health and sustainability at the same time. The health benefits of sustainable building through use of earth bags can prevent minor and major health risks.

The use of earthbags is certainly a departure from some of the toxins that may be present in traditional forms of building and construction; this could include the use of common paints, which are high in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s). VOC’s cause health risks like asthma and other respiratory problems.

Another example of use of earthbags as a healthy home substitution could involve the fact that many people in older homes are seeing some problems with asbestos insulation in their homes, possibly putting them at risk of health problems such as mesothelioma, nausea, asbestosis, or dizziness. Asbestos was common building material throughout the past 100 years, used in all types of structures from schools to factories. Once workers in asbestos containing factories started to contract some terminal illnesses, the material was banned in most areas. Although not used in production today, some older homes may contain asbestos in their insulation lining and the rebuilding process could put workers at risk. Some of the health risks are not to be taken lightly though, for example mesothelioma life expectancy is usually pretty severe.

These are just a few of the health risks that may be present in traditional construction and building styles as opposed to earthbag building. Using organic, earth made materials can not only do wonders in sustainability and helping the carbon footprint, but also in ensuring the best possible home in regards to health risks.


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