More Consumers Worried About Health Risks in Their Homes

Harvard Joint Center study shows growing concern among homeowners about invisible pollutants

February 05, 2015

A new study shows that an increasing number of homeowners are concerned about health risks from invisible pollutants, including mold, indoor air quality, noise, and lighting.

In a survey conducted by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 25 percent of respondents expressed worry about a toxin in their home negatively affecting health, with fully 10 percent describing their concern as “moderate” or “major.” Households earning more than $100,000 were more likely to answer on the higher end of the scale, as were households with children.

Indoor air quality ranked as the biggest perceived problem. Insufficient ventilation was cited, along with worries about chemicals being expelled from the structure itself.

This is important for remodelers because among homeowners concerned about indoor health, more than half either took action to solve the problem or were planning to do so. This included choosing paint with no or low airborne toxins, removing mold, and reducing noise.

In 2015, the Joint Center will publish results from a similar survey of remodelers to better understand how consumers’ mindsets about pollutants are playing out in the current residential remodeling market. PR

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