Building A Healthier Home: Top 5 Materials You Must Avoid

Some building materials and/or methods have been associated with an array of health issues. Chemical pollutants from composite timbers, plastics, solvents, and paints might be highly dangerous. If you want to construct a healthy house, you must avoid the following materials:

Engineered wood products

Fragmented wood layers are glued together to form engineered wood. You might use this kind of wood for kitchen counters, wall paneling, furniture, cabinets etc. However, the bonding and adhesives agents contain pollutants that can be released into the air.

The best alternative to engineered wood products is utilizing natural, solid wood. You can also find engineered wood products that contain reduced levels or no chemicals.

Pressure-treated wood and/or wood preservatives

Wood preservatives are handy at protecting wood from parasites, bacteria, and fungi. It's either injected into the wood or applied to the surface of the wood. When injected, it goes by the name pressure-treated wood. Arsenic, creosote, pesticides are some examples of wood preservatives.

Treated wood contains a mix of chromium, copper, and arsenic. These chemicals leach to the ground and then transfer to the skin from daily contact. The harmful chemicals are specifically dangerous to children that play on treated-wood deck or playground. If your child puts his or her hands containing the chemicals inside the mouth, the results can be devastating. Smoke and sawdust from burning treated wood might be toxic if inhaled.

Instead of treated wood, choose hardier woods such as cypress, redwood, and cedar that are weather-resistant naturally.

Paint strippers, wood finishes, and oil-based paint

Oil-based stains and paints contain numerous carcinogens and toxic chemicals. Among them are xylene, trichoroethane, toluene, mineral spirits, methylene chloride etc. Paint strippers contain highly-volatile chemicals such as methanol, and acetone.

When painting, vapors from strippers and paints build up in the air. They can irritate the lungs, skin, and eyes. The ideal alternative is to choose low-volatility or latex water-based paints. They contain fewer toxic solvents.


When it comes to insulation, asbestos is dangerous. However, even standard fiberglass insulation is hazardous. If inhaled, bits of fiberglass and asbestos are toxic.

To be on the safe side, purchase safer kinds of insulation such as recycled paper insulation or cotton insulation. You can install these without the need to utilize a respirator.


Walking on your soft and cozy wall-to-wall carpet with your bare feet might seem pleasant. However, by doing that, you're exposed to some toxic by-products. Many carpets are made from harmful synthetic fibers. Some of the hazardous carpet ingredients include urethane, PVC, antistatic sprays, artificial dyes, and antimicrobial treatments.

Some people might experience nausea, dizziness, or headache by breathing some of the carpets present in the carpets. By settling for natural carpeting of carpets with green label plus certification, you'll be able to prevent yourself and those you love from the harmful chemicals.

While building a new home is great, some building materials are toxic. The above are just some of the materials you need to avoid at all cost. If you're building and want more help to know how to safely finish your project, contact a home builders expert for information.