Building a new home certainly has its up-sides: no avocado green appliances, paisley wallpaper or, worse, hidden mold growing in the basement. But new homes are not without fault. Home-building materials are often toxic and getting them brand-new makes no difference.
Although you may not smell, see or taste it, construction materials emit various gasses and other compounds into your home, many of which are highly toxic. This is part of the reason why the Environmental Protection Agency says that indoor air can be two to five times (and even up to 100 times) more polluted than outdoor air.
This doesn’t mean you should never consider building a new home. While homes that have been lived in a few years may actually be a little healthier since the materials have had a chance to do some of their initial out-gassing, very old homes can bring up a whole new set of problems (lead paint, asbestos, mold, etc.).
Upon building a home (and making the seemingly endless decisions that go along with it), put some consideration into the actual materials that will be used. Often, safer, healthier and more environmentally friendly options exist, and not necessarily for a greater price. Following are some of the especially toxic building materials to watch out for, along with some alternatives to build a greener, healthier home.