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My House Is Killing Me!: A Complete Guide to a Healthier Indoor Environment 2ed

by Jeffrey C. May and Connie L. May Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 384 pages
AU$65.99 NZ$67.82
Product Status: Not Yet Published - See Pub Date for expected date
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It's a world we barely see, but it is teeming with life. In the dust of a typical house, carpet beetles, mites, silverfish, and other creatures live and die, producing allergen-laden dust. Meanwhile, stinky mold, bacteria, and yeast lurk undetected in heating and cooling systems. Debris dispersed into the air from these organisms can cause runny noses, itchy eyes, coughing, headaches, and breathing difficulties. Some people, especially those made highly sensitive by allergies, suffer from devastating health problems and the worry that, as one such sufferer lamented, "My house is killing me!"

Scrutinizing house dust and air samples with a microscope, indoor air quality expert Jeffrey C. May has spent his career helping people identify what's causing their chronic health problems. In this thoroughly revised edition of My House Is Killing Me! Jeff and Connie May draw on the dramatic personal stories of their clients' suffering and relief to help readers understand the links between environmental factors and human health. Explaining how air conditioning, finished basements, and other home features affect indoor air quality, the authors offer a step-by-step approach to identifying, controlling, and often eliminating the sources of indoor pollutants and allergens. If we could see this contamination, the Mays observe, the air would look as murky as stagnant water, and we would know not to breathe it.

This new edition includes

• more than 60 color photographs• expanded coverage on the dangers posed by volatile organic compounds produced by such common items as paint, carpet, and household cleaning products• a focus on a range of respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD, skin problems, and Legionnaire's disease• new information about the risks of spray-polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation• a discussion of recent research which indicates that many cleaning products, including those labeled green or eco-friendly, contribute to indoor and outdoor air pollution to a greater degree than once suspected• completely new case studies of people who improved their indoor air quality by following the authors' advice• brand-new chapters, including "Trojan Horse Allergens," "The Three Ps: Pets, Pests, and People," "Indoor Air in a Multi-Unit Building," and "Testing and Remediation."

Reading My House Is Killing Me! lets you see your house the way an expert would. Just as they look at spaces and systems during an indoor air quality investigation, the Mays focus first on the areas of daily life (bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen), then look into attics and basements (including heating and air conditioning), and finally move outside to the garage and the exterior of a home. Along with offering a wealth of practical advice and proven solutions for various problems, they include a glossary of terms and a list of valuable resources. This book is a must for all home occupants as well as perfect for those contemplating moving to or purchasing a property.

Foreword, by Jonathan M. Samet and Elizabeth MatsuiAppreciationIntroductionPart I: The Stage of Our Lives1. Seeing the Invisible2. Cast of Small Characters: Read This Chapter If You Dare!3. "Trojan-Horse" Allergens4. Creepy Crawlers (Apologies for Title!)5. The Three Ps: Pets, Pests, and People6. The SetPart II: Daily Life7. Living Rooms, Family Rooms, and Dining Areas8. Rooms with Water: Rooms with Water9. Rooms with Water: The Kitchen10. Rooms with Water: The Laundry11. Bedrooms12. Attached Garages, Bulkheads, Porches, and Decks13. The Exterior14. Indoor Air Quality in Multi-Unit BuildingsPart III: Below and Above15. Unfinished Basements and Crawl Spaces16. Finished Basements17. AtticsPart IV: Heating and Cooling18. Heating and Cooling with Ducts19. Heating and Cooling without Ducts20. More on Heating, Cooling, and FuelPart V: Clean It Up'Inside and Out21. Renovation and New Construction22. Environmental Hazards23. Testing and Remediation24. CleaningClosing Remarks: Take ChargeGlossaryResource GuideNotesIndex

Jeffrey C. May is a building consultant, indoor air-quality professional, and the principal scientist of May Indoor Air Investigations LLC in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has conducted indoor environmental investigations in thousands of buildings, including offices, schools, and homes; and he has personally analyzed over 20,000 air and dust samples. Widely published, May frequently lectures nationally about indoor air quality.