NTE Podcast: Offgassing….The Hidden Danger in our Homes

Jay and I today take a deep dive into the extremely important topic of chemical offgassing. Folks, I know that I believe every episode of NTE is important.  But this one it at the top of the ‘important’ list!  In my eyes, the elimination of offgassing of your building materials is the most crucial aspect of healthy home building or remodeling. Whether you’re painting your home, replacing the carpet or just want to keep the indoor air as pristine as can be, this episode is for YOU!


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Offgassing….The Hidden Danger in our Homes


Andrew Pace: In the world of healthy building, there are many issues that we have to deal with, but the one

important issue that we deal with on a regular basis, whether it’s new homes or a remodeling, is off gassing. What is off gassing? Where does it come from? How do you prevent it? How do you avoid it? Today on Non Toxic Environments Jay and I take a deep dive into this topic and we’ll give you plenty of ways to protect yourself.

Hello folks, welcome back to Non Toxic Environments. This is Andy Pace and as always, Jay Watts. How are you this week?

Jay Watts: Andy It’s been a good week. It’s been a good week. It’s been a fast week. It’s Thursday already. And boy, where has it gone?

Andy: It’s been a very fast week. It’s actually been a very fast summer. I can say that for the first time all summer, I actually did something last weekend that reminded me of summer!

Jay: You did? You took a dip in your pool in your backyard.

Andy: Well, yes, but more importantly I got the kayaks out.

Jay: How did that fit in the pool?

Andy: Very good. Yeah.

Jay: Oh, well, good for you. So you went out and kayaked on a one of those mini lakes that are surrounding your home?

Andy: That’s right. We live in what’s called Lake country here in Wisconsin and there’s dozens and dozens of lakes and a lot of them are connected. And so we had a great afternoon of starting in one small lake and going to a couple others and it was just a great day. And, I can’t complain at how it’s been a very busy summer and this is the busiest time of the year for projects and so forth. But, it was definitely well-needed and had to get out there, experience some nature and just kind of ironically ground myself in a big pool of water.

Jay: Sounds fantastic. So, you’re leading into our conversation today, you’re talking about an aqueous environment and I think today we want to address some of the issues around a gaseous environment.

Andy: Ooh, yes. What we mean by that folks is building materials. Actually we’ll talk about an aqueous environment cause we’re gonna talk a little bit about moisture and how moisture, humidity, vapor pressure can also increase off gassing. As we always do, or I would say quite often if we’re not providing an interview with an industry expert, we’re actually kind of interviewing each other. And I’m going to be leaning on Jay quite a bit today because we’re going to talk about sealing up one area of the home, which as loyal listeners I speak against all the time. I don’t want you to put carpet in your house, but folks, if you have it in your house or if you’re renting or if it’s too nice to get rid of, Jay’s going to talk to us about a process that will seal up the chemical off gassing up to 90%, which in a lot of situations, folks, that is just enough to make it livable.

Jay: Yeah. So the word off gassing is probably not new to any of our listeners. You have the basics of what that is. It’s basically the evaporation of chemicals in the coatings that are used in the materials that are used in building and remodeling. And what this off gassing is basically gases that are emitting into the atmosphere. Now, of course you’re also probably familiar with the fact that people are worried about VOCs, volatile organic compounds. Our government many years ago decided it was important for everyone and so the EPA under the auspices of EPA, they created regulation based upon notifying everyone and anyone if there was a regulated VOC, and I used to use the word regulated in quotes.

Andy: Oh, air quotes. I did the exact same thing when you said regulated. Yeah.

Jay: Yeah. The idea was that the EPA was going to make alert everyone to the fact that there was an ingredient in a coating material that could evaporate into the atmosphere that we needed to be worried about that. The EPA list of regulated volatile organic compounds which is I think a little over 300 ingredients. There are unregulated, exempt VOCs that do evaporate as well. And Andy and all kind of get into that in just a little bit. But anyway, the basic idea was, and how it works is, and what they were concerned about fundamentally was whether or not these pollutants would create outdoor air pollution. Their focus wasn’t really on indoor air pollution even though we spend 90% of our time indoors. So, it was all around the Clean Air Act and all of the things that were being discussed at the time.

The idea is if there’s a chemical that when it evaporates, mixes in the atmosphere with some other nitrous oxide type chemicals, that mixture, that combination can then turn into low-level ozone or smog. So the idea was we want to cut down on that and we want to make people aware of that so they both consumers and manufacturers and at some point want to cut down in that kind of emission so that we can prevent ozone and low-level smog from polluting everyone. So that’s kind of where the law got written. But the fact that there are ingredients that are not good to be around, we call those hazardous air pollutants, HAPS. They’re there. There are those exempt HAPS that show up in quote unquote zero VOC products. And this is where the problem lies because due to just the messaging that’s been going on for years, most people believe that they’re looking for, and not completely incorrect, but they’re looking for zero VOC products. And, and we don’t argue with that. We think that’s fine. But at the same time, it’s important to understand that that zero VOC designation is not a necessarily a promise that it’s not toxic.

Andy: What I was going to say here, Jay, is that your description here so far is just spot on and at no point do we ever advocate for using high VOC materials. One of the things I’ve heard from some listeners would be, you say that VOCs aren’t important. And if I ever say that, please know that I don’t mean that as the final statement. My statement is, as it relates to indoor air quality and human health, the VOCs aren’t the important metric. The important metric would be these other things that we’re going to talk about today. But, you’re exactly right Jay.

Back in the mid nineties, when VOC became regulated because of outdoor air pollution, global environmental issues, trying to reduce carbon emissions. Folks, these are all important things. It is certainly in our best interest as a society to reduce volatile organic compounds in our atmosphere. That said on the inside of a home, there isn’t enough, nitrogen nor is there enough VOC to create smog, which is why the EPA regulates VOCs. So Jay you’re right on with your description and I think that as we discuss these issues, just remember that we’re always looking at the health of the human occupant first, the way we approach things.

Jay: Exactly right. That’s the whole foundation of what we’re doing here. Just taking an example, and so I just want to just jump back for a little bit and I think it’s ironic that sometime ago it was an irony that the Environmental Protection Agency decided to remodel or rebuild a whole new building for themselves. And shortly after that construction was completed and everyone walked away, they had an indoor air pollution problem, right? All of the new materials were off gassing and I like to describe this off gassing is a toxic stew.

Andy: I’m sure it was.

Jay: Yeah. And so in the problem there is there’s so many different chemicals and they’re all off gassing. There’s absolutely no research that tells us what those chemicals are doing when they mix with each other. It is possible to sequester the ingredients on a one on one basis and kind of get an idea. But when you start mixing, you know, chemical with A, B, C, D, Z and all the way to the end and you’re going, what is that doing? No one knows what that doing is doing other than the fact that people start having the symptoms of chemical exposure. And this is what happened at the EPA offices. All of a sudden there, everyone was like, we can’t work here. We’re sick. We’re feeling badly. And it was like, Oh my God, look what we’ve done. We’ve created an indoor air pollution nightmare.

Andy: Well, and the balance of that story is Jay, that the culprit was the carpet. The carpet was thousands and thousands of square feet of new carpet that was installed. And at the time there was something like 1600 employees of the EPA that had to essentially stay away from the building because of the sick building syndrome of this toxic soup that they had. And to this day, some almost 30 years later, or over 30 years later, there are still a couple hundred people on permanent disability because of that episode.

Jay: Oh, that I didn’t know. Yeah. Wow.

Andy: That’s actually a perfect lead into this discussion here today, Jay, and talking about not only VOCs but carpet. One of the things we’re gonna talk about today is carpet. You had set up before that when something off gasses from a surface, just imagine- close your eyes and you think about steam coming off a bowl of hot water and that steam rises into the air and it mixes with everything in the air. This is what’s happening in an off gassing situation, although the difference is off gassing is not really akin to steam coming off of a bowl of hot water. It’s actually more like dust particles coming off of a surface and floats into the air and it’s so microscopic you don’t see it, but it can attach to other microscopic chemical monomers in the air and form new chemical compounds. And so off gassing is such a difficult issue to deal with because nobody really knows the extent of how and what can be created once something new comes into that space.

So think of it, an average home that’s built today has between 10 and 15,000 chemicals in it. And there’s been estimated at that over over the period of several years now with different studies. That’s just from the building process. All right. Family moves into the house and this happens all the time. Family members start to feel sick, feel ill and they all chalk it up to, well, you know, it was a tough move and does a lot of stress and everybody got the flu and so forth. A lot of times it comes down to the building materials that you’re all subject to. But let’s take this one step further. Let’s say somebody in the house is a smoker and they don’t smoke at home, but they smoke in the car or out at the office and they come home and you know, cigarette smoke has another 2200 chemicals in it. And as that clothing then sort of mixes with the air of the home, we don’t know how many new chemical compounds are forming because of this toxic soup that we’re in.

Jay: Right? And so to combat this particular smell problem we have and we start to introduce fragrances to mask the smells and that’s doing the exact same thing you’re talking about with nicotine.

Andy: And somebody, somebody came up with the brilliant idea years ago that what we should do is a aromatize a bunch of essential oils. And okay, and that’s kind of a shot at the essential oil crowd. But I think that this is a topic for another show. There are benefits of those, but I think people overuse it, abuse these and it’s causing other problems. But I’ll leave it at that for now.

But look at something like dry clean clothing, that’s another 600 different chemicals that gets added to this. One of the items that professionals have problem solving ways of taking care of this has been a process called ‘baking out’. Now, in theory, baking out a space is, essentially closing up all the doors and windows, heating up the space, to 90 degrees, 95 degrees, sometimes hotter. And what that does is from a chemical standpoint, it actually excites these molecules and they start to evaporate off of surfaces, right? This is what’s called baking out. Here’s the downside and this is why baking out was debunked over a dozen years ago, is because you’re heating up these materials to temperatures that they’re not designed to be at. And you know how we talked somebody walking in the house with cigarette smoke in their clothing and it creates new chemical compounds? Baking out does that in spades because now you’re giving these chemicals a healthier environment to combine in.

Jay: Yes. And if that doesn’t scare you from baking out, I’ll share a little quick little story about baking out. Tother side of what it can do, which is not good because you’re turning the heat up, and this is very simple physics. When you turn up and get some surfaces hot, guess what it does, it expands. And then when it cools, it shrinks. So in a situation where I was involved and I came in at the end of this, there was a project north of us here, a very expensive, multimillion dollar home on the coast, all new construction. The owner was chemically sensitive. All the coatings were causing a pollution problem that was recommended that they bake the house. They baked the house and post baking, the owner came back and discovered that all of his very expensive cherry woodwork had expanded so much it was cracking. All there were cracks down the middle of all of his kitchen cabinets. The doors were not shutting and he still had a pollution problem that he couldn’t live in the house. This is the other bad thing in my own simple explanation and experience. This is the bad thing about baking. But Andy’s right, you’ve created this whole other monster when you bake.

Andy: Right. And so what we talk about is flushing out of us of an area. And flushing out makes more sense because now you’re opening up windows. You are using air movement, air movement to a wick away moisture, which wicks away chemicals. That’s a better method. It doesn’t solve the problem, but it improves the situation of it.

Jay: I also suggest that’s the really first immediate step you can always take whenever you have a pollution problem like that and you’re not quite certain the direction you’re going to take. The first thing you can do is just get a lot of motion, get a lot of air moving around, try to dehumidify your air and keep trying to keep that air as clean as you can while you’re making decisions on what your next steps are.

Andy: Exactly. Right. You brought up perfectly the next topic to discuss in this whole off gassing issue, which is humidity. Now we’ve brought this up in other shows before, as humidity rises in a surface, or in a room, and then moisturizes in that surface as the moisture then comes off of the surface, it carries with it little chemical monomers, little chemical footprints. And which increases the amount of off gassing. Just this week we were involved in doing some FRAT testing for a client and we’re finding that the carpet in one room of the home, it’s exact same carpet in the entire house, but in one room of the home, the carpet was off gassing at 10 times the other rooms. We’re looking at 160 parts per billion for most of the house, which is high, for carpet its not that high. The safe level we like to target is 50 parts per billion. But the carpets had 160. In this one room it’s at 1600. Why is that? Well, the client has some health issues, needs to be in a higher humidity environments because of some sinus issues and she runs a humidifier in that room. So increasing the humidity has increased the off gassing tenfold.

Jay: What was her humidity level in there, by the way?

Andy: 60 to 65%.

Jay: Oh, boy. Yeah.

Andy: No, you want to keep it below 50 to avoid mold growth. Keeping it below 50, even around 40, it will also cut down on the amount of formaldehyde off gassing. Interestingly enough though, we’re involved in another project where there the protocol was written by a mold prevention and remediation specialist that the HVHC system for the home should not be turned on until the entire project is done for fear of contamination of the duct work. And unfortunately, well, unfortunately everybody took that as as gospel. Well, what happens when you paint and finish woodwork in the middle of summer in Chicago with no ventilation,

Jay: You got a pollution problem.

Andy: You got a pollution problem, you have stickiness problem. And more importantly, you got 5,500 square feet of Brazilian cherry that’s all warping because the humidity’s at 65% in the house. This is not designed to scare the heck out of people. This is designed to be a, hey be careful. Just because you’re making a great recommendation for all of these things, you got to think through the process and look at the what the end game is here. I would say the end game is to make sure that the home is a livable, healthy space for the clients and if you’re causing problems because of wanting to fix other problems, you might have re-look at the entire process.

Jay: What about ozone as a treatment?

Andy: Yeah, ozone is a treatment has its place and I am one of the people that actually believes that ozone when used properly in used in a controlled method is extremely beneficial for good indoor air quality in the house.

Jay: What do you mean by controlled method? That sounds good. Andy controlled method. What is that? What does that mean? Controlled?

Andy: Well, it’s like having two hands on the wheel, at 10 and 2, you’re always in control of your vehicle, never looking down to text or to change your radio station. Well, the same thing is with ozone. You don’t want to turn it on and leave it on and leave the house, right? You can do that if the ozonator or you’re using is set to a specific timeframe. So on a timer or if it’s set to a specific ozone level, which once it hits that level, it shuts off. That’s really the method I like to choose is actually we want to hit a certain benchmark of the ozone production and then keep it at that level for a certain amount of time. Ozone is an extremely efficient method of purifying air. It’s so efficient that you can over create ozone and ozone if you’re not exactly familiar with it as essentially, oxygen is O2, ozone is O3, so it’s oxygen with an extra leg to it and an extra oxygen molecule. So it’s very active. It’s very reactive. And if it doesn’t attach itself to a chemical or an odor in the air, it’ll attach to itself and create pure oxygen. Pure oxygen can be really harmful to people who have asthma, who have breathing difficulties already. This is why you have to make sure when you’re using that it’s being done in a controlled environment, in a controlled method. But here’s the other caveat with ozone, if you have a situation in your home that’s specific to let’s say formaldehyde off gassing, formaldehyde and ozone don’t mix very well and can also can actually cause some other chemical fumes to be created. I like using ozone for smoke damage. I like using ozone for kind of a musty smell. If you have a moldy smell. But if you have a specific formaldehyde off gassing issue, ozone is not the right product to use. 23:59

Jay: Where would a one of our listeners go to get more information about how to ozone properly? Is there a website they can go to or some information you’re aware of that they could, they could find out about on our show notes?

Andy: You know, that’s a great question. I don’t know specifically, but if I find something Jay, I’ll definitely put it in the notes for everyone.

Jay: Yeah, I’m just thinking about it out loud cause I think that’s the next question. People now saying who’s going to do it? Who’s going to do it? I don’t know that I can do it right. I may have to have some consulting on this. Someone’s got to help me.

Andy: Sure, sure. And that’s the other thing too, if you have a piece of equipment, typically these ozonators are portable purifiers. Make sure that wherever you’re buying it from or renting it from, we have one here in the showroom that we rent out to clients, but it’s got a timer on it and then you can set the amount that it creates and you can set the timer. There are also units that you can hook up directly to your heating and ventilating system, that are set like a rheostat so that you can actually adjust the amount that it creates. Rule of thumb is if you’re using ozone on a regular basis as just one of your purification methods in the home, the rule of thumb is if you can smell it, it’s up too high. The common telltale smell is a very sweet, sweet oxygen aroma. It’s almost as if you’re walking outside right after a big lightning storm. It’s got that really sweet, sweet air and that’s the telltale smell of ozone. If you can smell it, it’s up too high.

Jay: That’s very helpful. Very simple too.

Andy: Quite often when we talk about off gassing, we’re talking about not only a variety of building materials and we know that there’s over 90,000 chemicals used in the production of building materials and home goods and so forth. We talked about VOCs, we talked about those volatile organic compounds, that can come off of a surface for a period of time. And other HAPS. The one thing we strive for in any of the homes that we’re involved in is to reduce the formaldehyde off gassing to as close to zero as possible. And why is that? You know, why do we focus on formaldehyde? And quite simply, it’s because formaldehyde is one of the key triggers for chemical sensitivity, for asthma. It’s a key trigger asthma attack or for someone that has extreme chemical sensitivity, for anaphylactic shock. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen. Formaldehyde also has a very specific molecular size and weight to it, so that if formaldehyde is coming off a surface, we also know a whole host of other chemicals are also being released from that surface.

Jay: Formaldehyde is ubiquitous. So it’s another reason why it’s a big target for what we do.

Andy: It is a big target and, and the telltale signs of formaldehyde would be your flu like symptoms. So when you move into a new home or a home with though is just freshly renovated and people get this itchy, scratchy throat, they feel run down, their eyes are itchy or puffy. You feel like you got the flu. That’s the sign that is a typically from formaldehyde exposure.

Now formaldehyde does not get added into building materials always as an ingredient. I know it’s kind of a tricky way of saying this folks, but bear with me here. Urea formaldehyde is the one we are always talking about. Urea formaldehyde is added to things like plywood and particle board and OSB as part of the adhesive. And that’s what binds all that together. Formaldehyde can also be naturally occurring in wood because it’s always found in decaying plant matter. Formaldehyde can also show up, and this is what we’re finding now even more so than urea formaldehyde, formaldehyde is showing up in many building materials, many household materials, because the ingredients that are being used are what are called formaldehyde donors or formaldehyde precursors. And I don’t want to get too wonky with this, and too technical, but what a formaldehyde precursor is essentially- let’s take a gallon of paint because that’s what I’m most familiar with. And you too Jay. Manufacturers took formaldehyde out of their ingredients list and paint 40 years ago. There hasn’t been a paint made since the 70s that had formaldehyde in it as an ingredient or formalin. But ingredients that are used in paint can be things like antimicrobials. It could be flame retardants, other types of curing agents, odor masking agents. And these ingredients are not formaldehyde, but they are a certain classification of chemicals that will combine with other chemicals that are used in the paint. We talked about how off gassing from a surface can combine with other materials that are off gassing to create this toxic soup in the air in your house. Well, what happens in paint is in a liquid state, these chemicals are not detectable. But when you paint the wall, the chemical, curing process begins.

That chemical curing process triggers this combining of these different precursors, which is why we’re actually finding in doing FRAT testing that these paints are releasing formaldehyde during the curing process. And as we all know, paints and coatings and other building materials can release these chemicals for the lifespan of them. They reduce every a little bit every day, but they’ll still release these…it could be for 50 years.

Jay: And so that’s the problem with them not knowing this. There’s no way to scientifically safeguard ourselves against these things because no one knows how long these things really, as Andy alluded to, it can be many, many, many years. There’s no background on this to be able to say, well, this is always a question that you get Andy all the time. When will it be over? When will the pollution problem end? There’s just no simple answer to that because of the issues that we’re discussing today.

Andy: That is correct, there’s no rhyme or reason to it. We know based upon historical data that paints and coatings can off gas for a period of three and a half to five years after it reaches a full cure. Water-based paints takes up to two weeks to reach a full cure, then the off gassing starts. So maybe that’s another point to talk about here folks, is that off gassing is not curing. Curing is the process of creating the film. Once it’s fully cured and all the evaporations happened and the film has fully coalesced, now the off gassing begins and off gassing is the release of unreactive chemical monomers that’ll never become part of the coating. And that can continue for years. In the case of something like plywood or even carpet, I’ve tested materials that are over 30 years old that are still off gassing toxic levels of formaldehyde. It really has no rhyme or reason to it. And even more frustratingly, about this is, in a 12 foot by 12 foot room, I can test the carpet in five different areas and get five different test results. Now they’ll all show an amount of off gassing, but they’ll all be different. And that’s because chemical migration from surfaces really has no rhyme or reason to it. Sure. So we create an average. All this comes down to something needs to be done about it. In the form of paints and coatings and building other hard surfaces. We’ve talked about the Safecoat finishes before and, and how the Safecoat paints will seal up chemical off gassing and it doesn’t off gas itself, but one of the items that we’ve talked about at length from a standpoint of removing is carpet, and you just heard me say before that carpet can off gas toxic levels of formaldehyde for 30 years! But what if you move into this house or it’s a rental and you have no choice, you’re kind of stuck with it? Then what is the alternative? And the alternative is something that you guys developed many years ago and that’s your carpet shampoo and seal system.

Jay: All of all of our development kind of rolled around the notion that there was these pollution problems from different areas of the home. And our goal was to try to solve those problems as efficiently as we could. And as Andy alluded to, carpeting is one of the bigger surfaces in an installation. I talk about these things like the skin in our body. Your floor is a big skin and so when you’ve got many square feet of carpet and you’ve got a huge pollution, potentially a huge pollution problem on your hands. So as it’s consistent with our other coatings, we’ve been able to develop formulations that not only are nontoxic when they’re used, but they’re also good at sealing in things that are underneath them. And in case in point, so you have a whole plethora of chemicals coming off carpeting. And our concept was can we do a containment of those chemicals through a development of some sealers. So what we came up with was basically a three step process. Real quickly, that process would be to clean the carpet and we make a shampoo. And the shampoo has twofold purpose. Obviously if you have soiled carpet, you want to take the dirt out and so it’s good at doing that. But when you have new carpet, it’s not really not soiled. But the idea of using the shampoo helps to start the process of eliminating some of the chemicals at the very beginning of the process. And we recommend that when you do that you use hot water and an extraction process or steam cleaning.

Jay: In essence, setting the stage for the second step. And this is where the sealers come into the equation. We make a product that’s called Safechoice Carpet Seal. And what it’s intended to do, is you spray it on, apply it with a garden sprayer or Hudson sprayer and you infuse the carpet fibers and you actually massage the coating, the sealer into the fibers. What we’re doing there, was we’re trying to get the sealer itself to migrate through the fibers. Also by doing that attach itself to the backing of the carpet on the top side where the fibers and the backing are intersecting or any weaving with each other. What that’s doing is it’s infusing the fiber and it’s putting a layer of the sealer on the backing and that’s setting up the protection that we need from the off gassing that’s coming from those two surfaces.

And then another sealer that’s a booster as it were for the Carpet Seal, but more importantly, and it’s called Lock Out by the way. More importantly, what its function is to kind of fortify the fibers against a dirt pickup. So it’s kind of a dirt repeller in essence, it was designed in our concept was designed to replace Scotchgard. That’s the three steps. And as Andy said at the beginning of the podcast, the success rate has been pretty good. I want to be clear about this folks. We don’t bat a thousand every time. Depending on situations and people’s sensitivity thresholds, there are some times when installations are an improvement, but based upon the person’s sensitivity threshold and the level of pollution, sometimes it’s not quite good enough. As Andy said, 90% of the time and 90% efficacy. That’s kind of where we are with it. And it’s been it’s been a lifesaver for a lot of our clients faced with a situation which is you can’t rip out the carpet. You’re stuck with it.

Andy: And it really is remarkable. We’ve had plenty of experience using it, not only on ourselves on test projects, but also with clients across the country and when done correctly, and I’m not saying that homeowners can’t do it correctly, I’m just saying there are certain situations where maybe you don’t have the right equipment, you don’t have the strength, right to do it. But when used correctly we’re looking at a success rate here of sealing up the chemical outgassing anywhere from 60 to 90%.

Jay: I wanted to ask you, when you did that formaldehyde reduction test out there at the place with the carpeting, what’s happened since then? Have you gone back out and done the treatment or what’s the story on that?

Andy: Well we haven’t done that yet. We’re actually discussing right now whether that carpet is going to be removed and replaced. However, I have done that. I have done FRAT tests on carpet samples to prove its ability to seal. Depending on the brand, depending on how good of a job I did by applying the sealers, 60 to 90% is pretty much the average. I probably average around, I would say mid eighties for the amount of off gassing reduction, by applying that three step system.

Jay: Yeah. And I think you said it too, I think it’s true, isn’t it? In most cases that’s sufficient. That is sufficient to unburden yourself from the, the a problem.

Andy: Well, and that’s a perfect way of putting it because if we think about that toxic load in the home, it is a major weight. It’s a burden, and if we can reduce the off gassing, if that carpet is off gassing on the average 200 parts per billion, an 80% reduction, I mean, we’re getting it down to that safe range. Perfection is not possible. How often have we said this on our podcast that we have to have the mindset and the expectations that we’re not looking for perfection. We’re looking for acceptance. We’re looking for making sure that it’s livable. It’s not going to be perfect. Nothing is, we wanna make it livable.

Jay: It’s making me think, Andy, about something that we believe in strongly in and we share with everyone. Those of you that are listening, anyone that’s not new to our show will understand. This is a probably one of the fundamental ideas Andy and I share in that we are all about initial source selection being the best possible selections you can make so you don’t face this problem of having to remediate off gassing. It’s always best to source the cleanest materials first. It’s just the common sentiment, we always say the words this is common sense, but we all also understand the reality and the reality is for whatever reason, it’s not always possible to do the best practice. So then we have to have our backup, our fallback we just go with. But we know we need to know, and feel comfortable in the idea that there are companies, my company, Andy’s company, other companies that are in our sphere that understand this and have solutions for just about every challenge. It’s getting to a point now and I’m so glad to say this. We can pretty much kind of get it figured out. There’s not a whole lot that can throw us for very long. We’re getting pretty close to… we’re not 100%, but we’re climbing up that way. I know Andy, you feel great about that and I do too. Our listeners, anyone who’s doing these kinds of projects can benefit from all of the information that’s out there on our podcast and all the other podcasts that may be in our realm. They’re talking about healthy living.

Andy: That’s it, new construction is one thing, but remodeling’s a completely different entity, different, totally different. New construction, we can pinpoint, we can dictate every material that’s going into that home all the way down to the screws and nails holding it together. In remodeling, we speak of about this often, it’s peeling the layers of an onion. What are we going to get next layer? Right? I know it’s an onion, but it’s going to look different, right? Whenever possible, we want to source materials that are eliminating a possible exposure to any chemical or toxic off gassing. When that’s not possible, which is quite often, the next best thing is to seal it and, let’s get that exposure down. On the average, let’s get it down, you know, at least 80%, for any surface. Let’s give our bodies the ability to heal itself by giving it a healthier environment to do so in. So we talked about off gas and today we talked about off gassing from carpet and obviously just about every building material can off gas. But I’d like to hear from listeners send us a send us an email andy@degreeofgreen.com or go to the Degree of Green website and leave us a SpeakPipe message. We’d love to hear from our listeners, this past week got several voicemails from clients or customers asking questions and it’s always fun to hear from our listeners. We greatly appreciate that. And Jay and I both appreciate your kind words on the telephone or email from listeners. It’s just so exciting. Every single day I get calls from somebody saying, I found your podcast, I listened to your podcast. It’s just so nice to know that folks listen and are really getting something out of this. Excellent. And so we will be back again next week with another episode of the show. It’s going to be another action packed show a lot of information. That’s why we love the podcast because you can go back and listen to things we said to make sure you’re write down the right materials. We will put some links in the show notes and please make sure to go to iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave us a rating and a review. We greatly appreciate it. That would help our show show up on search engines faster.

Jay: Great. Show Andy, great talking to you. Get back into the pool or get into the kayak. Put on your water rings so you don’t sink.

Andy: Enjoy the last a month or so of summer. All right folks. Have a good week. We’ll talk to you soon.

Jay: Adios everyone. Aye. Bye. Bye.


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