NEW YORK, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading global interdisciplinary design firm Perkins+Will today released a new report examining the detrimental impact of building materials and products on asthma. The report, Healthy Environments: A Compilation of Substances Linked to Asthma, identifies 374 substances commonly found in the built environment that are known or suspected asthmagens.
Perkins+Will's expertise in building materials prompted Healthy Environments, which is being published in hopes of raising awareness of the connection between health and buildings while identifying existing sources of information so that healthy buildings will result. Also included is detailed information on the occupations and industries that come into the most contact with these potentially hazardous materials. The report's findings were compiled from an analysis of eight lists of published research from both academic and government sources.
"We are glad to highlight the lurking public health threat of asthmagens in the built environment," said Peter Syrett, leader of sustainability efforts at Perkins+Will's New York office. "This report complements Perkins+Will's Precautionary List and Transparency website in educating the public on the potentially harmful impact of buildings on the environment and human health."
Among the indoor substances and objects linked to asthma are building materials and furnishings; household cleaning, personal care, and hobby products; central heating and cooling systems; and humidification devices.
According to the report, it's estimated that 23 million Americans suffer from asthma, with 7.1 million of them children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note, "many indoor environments have pollutant levels two to five times higher, and occasionally more than 100 times higher, than outdoor levels." Since Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, indoor air quality can have a dramatic impact on these rising asthma rates. Thus, something must be done to improve conditions. The report, part of Perkins+Will's Transparency initiative, can be found at: transparency.perkinswill.com/assets/whitepapers/NIH_AsthmaReport_2012.pdf.
Established in 1935, Perkins+Will is an international multidisciplinary architecture and design firm founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives and enhance society. With a staff of 1,500 in 24 locations worldwide and grounding its work in deep research, the firm serves clients across a broad range of project types. Perkins+Will ranks among the world's top design firms and is the recipient of hundreds of awards. Social responsibility is fundamental to the firm's outlook, work, and culture, and every year Perkins+Will donates one percent of its design services to non-profit organizations. With pioneering tools to advance sustainable design practices, the largest green building portfolio in North America, more than 1,000 LEED® Accredited Professionals, and a commitment to the 2030 Challenge, Perkins+Will is recognized as one of the industry's preeminent sustainable design firms. For more information, visit: www.perkinswill.com.