Bau-Biologie is the study of the effects of building structures on the physical, mental and spiritual health of their occupants. Since we in the western world spend upwards of 80% of our lives indoors, Bau-Biologie holds that a building's structure should be considered part of the biological field of its inhabitants, in other words, as a third skin. Buildings are therefore seen as living organisms whose moisture, temperature, air, electrical, and water systems must be regulated to harmoniously react with and provide for the humans that dwell within them, as well as with their immediate surroundings and the general environment.
There are multiple advantages to natural healthy buildings. Broadly speaking, the positive effects of human-friendly structures made of natural materials is experienced in terms of healthier physical and mental well-being as well as a minimized environmental footprint. The benefits of healthy buildings accrue to humans and the Earth at all stages of the construction process - from raw materials sourcing to manufacturing processes to product application or installation. On a daily basis, human-friendly buildings require fewer resources to run safely and they emit and collect less noxious stimuli that may pose potential harm to inhabitants.
Bio-Accumulation, Total Body Burden, and Epigenetics
Scientists and modern medicine are looking for answers to the ever escalating incidence of cancer, cardiac, neural and auto-immune diseases in genetic research. It is, however, scientific fact that genes do not change in a generation or two, or, for that matter, over many generations. Genetic change is very slow, taking 50,000 to 500,000 years to actualize. If the genes we inherit are not responsible for the epidemics of chronic and degenerative diseases, then where else can we look for causes? We can turn to Bau-Biologie. Following the scientific principles of bio-accumulation and total body burden, Bau-Biologie affirms that and shows us how we can dramatically improve our health, vitality and well-being by applying Bau-Biologie principles in our lives.
Bio-accumulation results when the uptake of a substance is greater than the rate at which it is released from the organism. Pesticides, heavy metals, organic chemicals, phthalates, plasticers, formaldehyde, styrene, DDT, PCBs, PVC, and many other man-man chemicals can accumulate in an organism. Animals at the top of the food chain consequently harbor the stored bio-accumulation of toxins from food and the environment of those before them.
A few facts:
- Humans are at the top of the Earth's food chain - just like tuna are near the top of the oceans' food chain and therefore harbor higher levels of mercury than sardines.
- Nursing infants are at the pinnacle of the food chain followed by the human fetus.
- A mother releases up to 70% of her total body burden during pregnancy.
- There have been 3 to 4 generations born since "The Chemical Revolution" of the 1940's each with a progressively greater body burden at birth. (for more- Link to Preconception Purification Care)
- Fetuses in America swim in an amniotic bath of more than 200 man-made chemicals.
Now consider this:
- Toxicity standards in the United States are based on a 150 pound adult male (unfortunately for women, pregnant women, fetuses, nursing babies and children).
- Most chemicals to which we are exposed daily, have not been tested for their toxicity. For example, the US government leaves it to pesticide manufacturers to determine what ingredients are the active ingredients and which therefore are listed on labels as well as which are mentioned in the Materials Safety Data Sheet. In effect, there is no government oversight to speak of; there is only industry self-regulation.
- Toxicity standards (those that exist!) are set for individual substances in isolation, not in consideration of the toxic soup in which they are compounded, in which we live and that exists in our body.
Body burden refers to the body's mechanism of storing endogenous (i.e., produced by the body) and exogenous (i.e., from outside the body) poisons that it is not capable of breaking down and eliminating through the detoxification and eliminative organs - the skin, lungs, kidney, liver, bowels. The human body was not designed to breakdown and eliminate either the amount or the variety of man-made chemicals to which we are exposed daily. It consequently stores them in tissues.
Total body burden refers to the sum total of toxic heavy metals, chemicals and other noxious substances stored in cells and fluids of the body. The burden of certain chemicals and heavy metals can be determined by their presence and residual chemical substrates found in urine, hair and blood analysis. An analysis of the total body burden is extremely expensive and because of the chemical soup extant in our cells, not truly feasible. Given that testing of random samples of Americans repeatedly shows high levels of most heavy metals, DDT, PCBs, phthalates, and styrene in virtually all blood samples taken, it can be assumed that we all need to reduce our body burden.
It has been discovered that genes can be switched on and off by environmental factors - engendering the new science of epigenetics. In other words, genes are not static and can be effected by our behavior, choices and exposures. Factors known to switch genes on or off include environmental stimuli such as heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates, and diesel fuel. Over time, as the endogenous and exogenous poisons overwhelm the detoxification pathways, cellular function diminishes, the body grows less and less efficient, bodily functions are hampered. Eventually, the body burden of toxins overwhelms the ability to eliminate them and symptoms of toxicity - or disease - manifest.
All religions talk of light-beings, of the light enveloping saints, or the halo encircling the crowns of angelic men and women. Over the centuries, could all these men have been wrong? I think not. Just because a phenomenon is inexplicable with the technology of the day does it mean the phenomenon are non-existent? Again, I think not.
What some ancients were able to visualize are what is now recognized by physicists as bio-photons. What those who 'see' are capable of detecting is the bio-photonic field that surrounds us all up until the moment of our deaths. This field, commonly referred to as the aura, is composed of packets of light that are released from cellular DNA. In the 1990's a German physicist, Alfred Fritz-Popp, confirmed the existence of bio-photons. In effect, we are all light bodies emitting bio-photons. According to Fritz-Popp, et al., bio-photons provide the mechanism through which our cells communicate with each other. The nervous system is simply too slow to be our primary physiological controller. For example, each cell conducts upwards of 100,000 chemical reactions a second. Further, our eyes receive and process upwards of 2 billion light signals per second. About 1 billion signals are filtered or ignored. The nervous system simply does not work fast enough to direct, guide and manage all the stimuli, information and processes that go on in the body at any one time. However, these packets of light, bio-photons, are now theorized by the most avant garde scientists to be the monitors of our physiological and biochemical functions.
As light, in the form of bio-photons, is now postulated to be our control mechanism, does it not stand to reason that light is more critical for human well-being than we ever imagined? Just as people heal through the use of music based therapies, cold lasers and frequency machines, we can also use the visible and invisible light spectrum to maintain health and even to heal. As a consequence, Bau-Biologists recommend daily exposure to sunlight. Bau-Biologie encourages the use of full-spectrum lighting, the installation of skylights and increasing the number of windows in a room.
As light beings, per Fritz-Popp, it stands to reason that humans are very sensitive to frequencies of all nature. We know that ionizing radiation mutates DNA and is carcinogenic. Increasingly research is documenting the detrimental health impact of microwaves and AC magnetic and electric fields. With Bau Biologie we can take the steps to protect ourselves in advance of adverse side effects. True Preventative Health Care!
Another Little Story
Living in Silicon Valley, California, there are a lot of science-types around. I was recently describing these bio-photons to two friends, scientist types. Neither of them believed a word I said. After directing them to relevant websites I received an email response: "Checked out bio-photons. They are irrelevant - too weak to have any effect on the body." I chuckled and recalled the story of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss, an Austrian physician who advocated that physicians sanitize their hands between patients as a life-saving measure against childbed fever. Though he reduced the epidemic of death by puerperal fever to only 8 victims between 1851-1855 at a hospital in Pest, his theories were soundly rejected by the medical and scientific communities and he was ridiculed. Look now how the medical industry reveres the minute 'germ'. Bio-photons should not be dismissed without further research. Given that the body's processes have been shown to be intelligent and efficient; and it does not use up resources to no effect, bio-photons must serve some function. At one point we thought the Newtonian view of the world was indelible, then came quantum physics. Are we on the frontier of a revolution in the way we look at the body? Do bio-photons play a role in this new perspective? I think we simply have much to learn!
What hazards exist in our homes?
The hazards commonly found in most American homes can be grouped into naturally occurring and man-made pollutants and hazards. Though we cannot eliminate the naturally occurring pollutants and hazards, we can control them. As for the man-made versions, many of the pollutants and hazards can be easily eliminated, substitutes can be found, minor changes in location can render them less harmful, behaviors can be modified, and/or natural products can replace them.
Naturally Occurring Toxins
Naturally occurring pollutants and hazards include:
- heavy metals
- radioactive contaminants (radon- an odorless radioactive gas)
- geopathic stress
The most common man-made pollutants found in homes include:
- cleaning products that emit VOC and other toxic fumes - bleaches, detergents, fabric softeners, bathroom cleaning products, all cleaning products with fragrances, household air fresheners, car cleaning products, and body care products.
- toxic vapor producing construction and furniture materials - paints, varnishes, glues, solvents, and polyurethane foam that damage DNA, are hepatoxic, neurotoxic and carcinogenic.
- pesticides and insecticides for indoor and outdoor use that are neurotoxic, suppress the immune system and induce endocrine changes, thyroid problems, and liver dysfunction,
- contaminated water from out-sourced system and/or contaminated within the property due to piping and soldering materials, leaks, softening systems, etc.
- garden products that contain heavy metals, release VOCs, chemicals that are endocrine disruptors, cause neuropoisoning and damage the immune system.
- AC electric fields and EMF fields from metal rebar, bed springs, not-to-code electric wiring, appliances, computers, telecommunications equipment, other electronic devices and cell phone towers, and high-wire lines
I have dear family friends whose four dogs, first two and then their second two pets, have suffered severe skin rashes and irritations, kidney damage, cancers and premature death. It seemed pretty clear to me how this transpired once I learned about Bau-Biologie. What had never occurred to me before then was that most domestic pets are inhaling air just a few inches off the floor in addition to laying on the floor. (And so, by the way, are toddlers!) Our pets are breathing in everything off-gassing from the flooring materials and from that which is applied to the floors to wash, protect, polish, shine, waterproof, stain-proof and deodorize them. Therefore, domestic animals may be seen as the 'canaries in the cages', so to speak, vis-a-vis the safety of home flooring systems and floor care products. Well, my friends and their pets moved into a brand new home in a new fancy development. There was straight from the factory wall-to-wall carpeting in most of the house. With central air conditioning and heating, windows are kept closed up. Like so many, my friends routinely clean and deodorize with harsh chemicals looking to sanitized every square inch. They use petrochemical based soaps, detergents, fragrances and scented candles. The blankets and dog bedding are also washed in fragranced detergents and dryer sheets odorize some more. The household air is permeated with chemicals such that I can't sleep at my friends' home. Though Donna, Bernie and Scottie lounged a lot on the couch off the floor, they all became sick. Bella, the Scottish terrier is the only one to survive and she is currently on doggie prescriptions for dermatitis. Unfortunately, my friends cherished pets have suffered the consequences of the toxic environment in which they lived.
There are many appealing elements of this philosophy of healthy homes that range from those that positively effect humans to those that trickle down to include its beneficial environmental impact. The difference in emphasis, however, shifting from a focus on rapid, cheap construction to human-friendly living spaces is perhaps what is most appealing about Bau-Biologie. This shift is reflective of a movement away from short sighted materialism and capitalistic excesses that have resulted in upwards of 30% of buildings in the United States posing serious health hazards for their inhabitants.
It is my belief that if our residential and workplace buildings supported human health by application of Bau-Biologie principles, individuals and society at large would benefit with lower health costs and improved health. Further, since construction is one of the most resource intensive industries on the planet and accounts for one-third of annual resource consumption, building code changes that support minimal consumption, renewable resources, and non-toxic products can only help to slow down the rate at which pollution and its consequences are devastating our planet.
Having spent time in buildings that are built using Bau-Biologie principles and with consideration of individuals with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), I can attest to the immediate sensation of groundedness and peace upon entering such premises. The reduction in noxious stimuli such as toxic fumes, aberrant noises, EMF zapping effects, and harsh lighting and colors produces a remarkably tranquil environment where defenses simply melted away. Living in such a space would undoubtedly reduce illness and improve well-being dramatically since it is well established that stress - i.e., excessive stimuli or noxious stimuli of any sort - causes 80% of all disease. Would this then reduce personal and societal medical costs? How would this impact our brain function which seems to be decreasing at frightening rates?
Why Zero Tolerance?
The impact of toxic chemicals and electromagnetic pollution is significantly greater in children. Children present distinct needs and require enhanced protection for the following reasons:
- a child's metabolism is faster than that of an adult
- children weigh less than adults
- proportionately children intake more (air, water, food), and
- a child's cellular growth rate is faster than that of an adult.
Our office is located in Los Gatos, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. To schedule an appointment, please contact Elize St. Charles by phone at 408.356.8987 or 408.499.6291 or email DocElize@thehealingatelier.com