A Melbourne mum has turned personal experiences and research into a global tool to help families assess the health of their home and provide tips to minimise pollutants we often don’t think about that are potentially linked to health issues.
As a result of personal experiences Melissa Wittig, (mother, interior designer, healthy home advocate and App Author) strongly believes “that further to diet and exercise a healthy home is key to preventing illness”. With the increase in asthma, allergies, chemical sensitivities and a plethora of illnesses that have been linked to aspects of the home environment a savvy home owners checklist to creating a beautiful space is about to get a makeover.
Melissa has developed a Healthy Home App to help families navigate interior elements of their home such as building materials, products and lifestyle practices that can potentially impact on health.
Melissa said “creating a healthy home is achievable once a few key principles are followed. The App was designed to provide fast, accessible guidance and tips as to things to consider throughout a home so that families can take action and feel empowered by information”.
Communities are expanding globally, housing types and conditions are changing, and our environmental impact on the planet is evolving as we do, potentially to the detriment of human health. There are currently 38,000 chemicals registered for use in Australia on the AICS and a further 282 were approved for use in 2010 -2011.
The choice of products available to build, maintain and use within our homes is growing. Many of these products are largely untested in relation to human health and many consumers don’t realise that just because a product is being sold does not make it safe.
The cocktail of pollutants that result from everyday products and lifestyle practices threatens the health of our indoor air among other challenges and inadvertently impacts on family health.
Health impacts of daily choices around and within the home are largely not immediately apparent but have very real costly consequences within the community. Melissa says ” many people don’t realise there has been so much documentation produced about a wide range of health concerns linked to the home environment”.
The World Health Organisation has highlighted that “the occurrence of indoor sources of various chemicals and the chemicals’ toxicity leads to identification of certain compounds for which indoor sources and exposures are driving the health risks of specific population groups in Western Countries”.
The Healthy Home App provides families with a fun way to identify assets and challenges and make informed decisions that can have a positive impact on social and environmental health, also providing links to further information sources for those wanting to learn more about particular topics.
Melissa says, “the App is something I would have valued when I was expecting my children, I would have liked to have saved years of research and averted exposing my kids to many of the household pollutants that they have encountered because of my lack of knowledge at the time”.
Many people struggle with asthma and allergies and look for ways to minimise triggers in the home. The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology & Allergy has estimated the cost to Australians who suffer from allergy due to reduced quality of life (the “burden of disease”) is estimated at $21.5 billion”. Asthma kills more than 300 people each year, and more than 40 thousand people are hospitalised each year, which results in around $1 billion a year being spent on just treating asthma, according to the Australian Center for Asthma Monitoring”.
The Healthy Home App is a useful tool for all families wanting to create a healthy home, especially expectant mums, families with small children and the ill, as these groups of people are particularly vulnerable to home pollutants.
The App will be officially launched to coincide with the Build and Renovating Expo on 12th July at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre where Melissa will be participating in the speed date an expert event and presenting a seminar. The App will be available on the App Store from 12th July.
Going green has been a buzz word for some time, this App has just added depth to the going green mantra – Go green and healthy!
The Healthy Home App will be available on the App store this Friday to coincide with the Build & Renovating Expo for just $1.99
To find the App, just enter the App name – “Healthy Home”
See Melissa Wittig present Healthy by Design – Interiors at the Build & Renovating Expo this Sunday at 12.45pm
Join healthy interior advocate and interior designer Melissa Wittig to explore the connection between the indoor environment and human health.
Gain insights into how your choices relating to design, decorating and lifestyle practices can create sustainable healthier spaces.
Visit our website for more information, buildexpo.com.au
Buy tickets HERE.