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Published: Wednesday, 12/24/2008

Concrete Walls for a Healthier Home

(NewsUSA) - For the 80 percent of allergy sufferers with indoor allergies, allergy season lasts all year.

Many people might not take their allergies into consideration when they look to buy or build a new home. But the right building materials can help reduce indoor allergens.

In 2006, the New York Times reported that adults in developed countries spend 90 percent of their time inside. Indoor environments prove increasingly airtight, so people face constant exposure to dust and mold, two common causes of indoor allergies.

Allergies cause nasal congestion, runny noses, itchy throats, and pain in sinuses, heads, ears and eyes. Many allergy sufferers report becoming so tired and ill-feeling that they cannot enjoy everyday activities.

To treat their allergies, people take over-the-counter and prescription medications or receive allergy shots, which help increase bodies' tolerance to allergy triggers. However, a simple change in the materials your home is constructed from could be all that stands in the way between you and free breathing.

Wood, for example, can absorb moisture in humid areas. Moist environments can cause mold, a major source of indoor allergies.

Homes built using concrete masonry, however, can feel more friendly to people with indoor allergies. Concrete masonry resists mold growth. In many areas, concrete masonry walls do not require insulation, which can attract cough- and sneeze-causing dust.

People with allergies -- or dislikes -- towards insects can also rest easy in a concrete masonry home. The building material does not succumb to termite damage and can resist other wood-loving insects, like ants.

Even for people without allergies, concrete masonry can mean a healthier home. Home owners don't need to paint concrete masonry walls. Avoiding paint helps avoid the harmful chemicals they can contain. Concrete masonry walls also block sound, creating serene environments in even the most hectic urban environments.

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