Hi, my name is Daryl van Benschoten and I'm founder of Indoor Environmental Solutions. I'm a Chemical Engineer with over 25 years of experience in environmental science. While with Johnson Matthey, I received an award for leading a talented team that developed a novel oxidation catalyst that drastically reduced toxic gaseous emissions from the production of a precursor to polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Tens of millions of tons of PET are produced annually worldwide; it's used to make plastic bottles, containers and clothing. The volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from this industry included carcinogens and mutagens that had been released into the atmosphere until this technology was developed.
I'm happy to say that the talented team also developed oxidation catalysts for chlorinated VOCs, including trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), chloroform, methyl chloride, etc. These catalysts have been used since the mid 1990s to remediate a variety of contaminated soil and groundwater sites, including contaminated military, industrial and dry cleaning sites.
What's that have to do with Indoor Environmental Solutions?
I had noticed for years that while agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency have warned that pollutant levels indoors are often significantly (2-100 times) higher than those outdoors, very little was being done about it and no agency could regulate it. Furthermore, despite medical advancements in diagnosis and treatment and the billions of dollars spent, the mortality rates for many types of cancer are increasing. Less than a century ago, cancer was the 6th leading cause of mortality in America. It has recently overtaken heart disease to become the number 1 cause of death. Like most things, it’s a complex issue and there are multiple reasons for the increase.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has evaluated the scientific data available and has classified electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as being a Class 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic). In other words, there is evidence that EMFs may contribute to an increased risk of cancer to humans and animals. Some scientists believe there's already enough evidence for EMFs to be designated as a Class 1 (definite) carcinogen while many others agree it’s just a matter of time before the evidence is so overwhelming that EMFs are reclassified as a definite or known carcinogen.
A growing number of scientists and doctors believe EMFs should be taken seriously
Based on existing science, many public health experts believe we may soon face an epidemic of cancers, neurological disorders including autism, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, asthma, allergies, ADHD, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, headaches and other health issues caused by increased exposure to EMFs and electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Numerous international studies conclude that EM radiation is harmful at levels a thousand times below existing US safety standards, which are based on flawed assumptions and outdated science.
EMFs include extremely low frequency (ELF) and radio frequency (RF) radiation. ELF EMFs include electric and magnetic fields that may be present at high levels from electrical appliances and from the electrical wiring in the wall behind your pillow, where your head lays for 7-8 hours every night. RF radiation includes that from wireless WI-FI routers, cordless phone stations, cell phones, smart meters, baby monitors, alarm systems, nearby cell and radio towers, etc. You may be closer to a cell tower than you realize. Cell antennae are now located on top of buildings, Church steeples, signs, etc. and towers are now being disguised to look like trees and other harmless objects. Unfortunately, studies in Israel and Gemany show significantly (300-400%) increased risk of cancer for residents living near a cell tower.
The recent death of Steve Jobs was big news and obviously sad. No one knows for sure the cause(s) of his cancer, but there’s no question that Jobs was exposed to high levels of ELF electromagnetic fields and RF radiation throughout much of his life, even before the wireless age in which we now live. He developed pancreatic cancer while in his 40s. His wealth may have helped extend his life until he was 56. People might think that they’re not exposed to EMFs and EMR to the same degree as Steve Jobs, but the reality is that wireless radiation is increasing in power and coverage. Exposure to "electrosmog" has increased drastically over just the last decade and it's not slowing down. In fact, it's speeding up and we're all becoming guinea pigs in this big experiment. Electric utilities are installing "smart meters" across the nation, which broadcasts pulsed RF radiation throughout homes 24/7. In addition to that, many communities will soon have WI-MAX; wireless signals coming from their power lines or nearby towers also broadcasting pulsed RF radiation 24/7. Invisible "cobwebs" of microwave signals are now pulsing throughout most homes and offices. The relatively "low" power microwave radiation might not cook you quickly like a high powered microwave oven, but it clearly has serious adverse health effects.
Based on my experience, EVERYONE should know where EMF "hotspots" are located in their home; especially the places where they spend the most time. I originally started measuring EMFs in my own home out of concern for my kids. It's one of the smartest things i've ever done in my life. Besides the unacceptable levels of RF and ELF EMFs I found in my kids rooms, I unexpectedly discovered that I (specifically, my head) was being exposed to 14 milligauss (mG) of ELF EMFs for hours every night while I layed in bed. Studies have linked leukemia to levels of 1.4 mG (ignore the outdated US safety limit). No wonder i was having headaches and not sleeping well. Based on the survey I conducted in my own home, I made modifications to significantly reduce my family's exposure to EMFs. Among other changes, one of the things I did was simply relocate beds in three out of four bedrooms. I now often make similar cost-free recommendations to clients. The trick is to know where the EMF hot and low spots are located, which requires the proper meters to measure the levels of different types of EMF at a wide range of frequencies.
The purpose of Indoor Environmental Solutions is not to simply sell air purifiers, water filters and EMF meters and shielding materials. Our purpose is to provide the best technology at the best price. So, we don’t sell every air purifier available on the market. Unfortunately, some air purifiers aren’t much more than expensive noise machines. And some are good for certain contaminants, such as particulates, but not for VOCs, etc. We do much of the research for you and provide solutions that utilize multiple technologies to address the variety of contaminants and exposure circumstances often present in homes and offices. We also provide environmental consulting, evaluations and surveys of homes and offices throughout the southeastern US at very affordable rates.
When it comes to diseases like cancer, autism and Alzheimer's, an ounce of prevention is worth infinite pounds of cure. Too often, there is no cure. Thanks for your interest in Indoor Environmental Solutions! Please contact us with any questions or comments you may have.
Daryl van Benschoten