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Homes That Heal (and those that don't) : How Your Home Could be Harming Your Family's Health Paperback – October 1, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Media reports focus increasingly on the declining health of children in industrialized countries. Asthma, autism, learning and behavior problems, and cancer are all on the rise. At the same time there is consistent news about poor indoor air quality, mold, and how buildings can make people sick.

Homes that Heal addresses both of these developments, revealing that our own homes can contribute to many of these health problems. A passionate examination of our built environment and the alarming impact today's chemically polluted world is having on the health of present and future generations, Homes that Heal is easy-to-read, solutions-oriented, and humorous, full of stories and advice that empower families to take back their health on a daily basis. Topics covered include:

  • a Healthy Home Quiz that enables readers to evaluate the health of their own home and identify many of the common home health hazards
  • factors impacting indoor air quality
  • a room-by-room examination of typical problems and solutions
  • toxic materials used in building a new home, or remodeling
  • cleaning products and other consumer hazards found in the home
  • an easy-to-understand introduction to the science of Bau-biologie (Building Biology), an internationally recognized approach to healthy construction.

Packed with useful information and resources, Homes That Heal is written to be easily understood by busy mothers and will appeal to anyone interested in the health of their family. Designed for the family coffee table, it is equally suitable for doctor's offices and home improvement stores alike.

Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series

About the Author

Athena Thompson is a certified Bau-biologist (Building Biologist) and Cofounder/Owner of Humabuilt Healthy Building Systems. A Natural Health Specialist for 18 years, she has managed her own private health practice in both the UK and the US, and has been on the faculty of Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. An award-winning entrepreneur, Athena specializes in Environmental Medicine and buildings, with a special focus on the health of children.

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Product Details

  • Series: Women Writers of the Islamic World (Book 10)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865715114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715110
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This is such a GREAT book !!! Everything you ever wanted to know about everything in your house and how it might affect your and your children's health. The book is easy to read, entertaining and yet shock full of important facts. Did you know that some sandbox playsand contains known human carcinogens like crystalline silica and asbestos? or that microwaving a mother's breast milk will cause it to lose its infection-fighting properties ? Or that some bamboo floors contain nasty adhesives and formaldehyde ? Much research has gone into this book and yet the author uses simple stories to illustrate a variety of situations and provide solutions. The first few chapters cover the basics (Healthy vs Unhealthy Homes, Conventionally Built Home, Remodeled Older Home, and New Healthy Home) then each chapter covers a room and the hazards specific to that room (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, home office, garage) then on to pets, cleaning, home maintenance, yards, plants, etc ... and a comprehensive Healthy Home Quiz. Lots of little known facts about things like bedding, dry cleaning, smoke detectors, diapers, air fresheners, mold, radon, attached garages, even gives simple ways to check for electro-magnetic fields ... This book is VERY comprehensive and far superior to the many others I have read on this topic. It is quickly becoming my bible !
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Format: Paperback
Although initially a bit intimidated by the amount of facts, I was quickly drawn in by the writing style, the "stories" of fictional folks who all have various concerns about their homes, and the well-organized format of this book. Athena Thompson brings forth a wealth of information about so many aspects of our home environment. Like most people I made the assumption that my cosy home, my sanctuary from the world, had to be a healthy environment. I learned a great deal about how to make simple changes within my home to make it a healthier environment. I'm grateful that I'm now aware that just because "it's invisible" doesn't mean it's not harmful, like toxic residues from common household cleaners, and electro-magnetic radiation from electrical wiring and appliances. This book is a wake-up call for most of us about how the inside of our homes may be the most toxic environment we find ourselves in during our day, and the effects of that environment on children as well as adults. I have already made many changes, and feel much better being in my home. I'm looking forward to the workbook, so I can get others together to discuss healthy home environments. Cheers to the author for bringing all this information to light in a practical, easy-to-read and non-preachy way.
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Format: Paperback
Athena Thompson's HOMES THAT HEAL has changed my life and the lives of many people that I know. It is an easy to read, understandable examination of the toxic influences that we encounter on a daily basis within our own homes. This book will increase your awareness of the harmful conditions that we are constantly and unknowingly exposed to. Homes that Heal illustrates very clearly that these toxins are not only in what you buy, the construction of your house, the water you drink out of the tap, the air that you breathe within your home but also the electro-magnetic and possibly radioactive environment in which you live. Homes that Heal has made me look at things in the living environment in a far more critical and discerning way. From the wiring and insulation to the sheets we sleep on, Athena Thompson leaves nothing untouched.

If one's home is truly where the heart is, then this is the book for you. Any mother or father who wants to create a healthy and safe living environment not only for their children but for themselves as well needs this book. Homes that Heal details, and helps you seek out these hazards that are so pervasive in our living and working environments. The reality with which Athena Thompson presents each scenario with her cast of characters, gives you situations which you cannot deny that you live with everyday. Just because it is on the market; do not assume that it is safe for you or your family. From the pesticides to the innocent looking scented lotion purchased at the mall, she shows us how these toxic chemicals have invaded every area of our environments and provides very workable solutions to help remove them room by room.
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Format: Paperback
I am a Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant by the American Indoor Air Quality Council and Director of the Indoor Air Quality Association in Santa Fe. My company investigates building-related health complaints.

Athena's book not only covers the important aspects of how to create a healthy home, it's narrated with humorous stories and examples of how they relate to us in our daily lives.

There's a useful quiz/check list that you and your family can take to assess how healthy your home is and ideas for what you can do to make it healthier.

I often refer to Athena's book. It's part of my reference library.

Dan Stih, Author, Healthy Living Spaces: Top 10 Hazards Affecting Your Health.
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