The Products & Materials Committee believes that particular attention is critical during building design to assure that the needs of chemically and electromagnetically sensitive people are accommodated to the greatest extent possible. In general, this means selection of construction materials that are low-emitting or non-emitting and selection of finishes that do not absorb or react with chemicals emitted by other materials or products in the building. To begin to address some of the concerns of electromagnetically sensitive persons, areas of the building can be designed to have reduced electromagnetic fields. By making indoor environments that are safer for the most vulnerable among us, we can create indoor environments that are healthier for everyone, especially children.
Generally, this means selection of materials that are "hard" or non-porous where possible so that any chemicals that contact these materials are not retained in and re-emitted from them. Also, particular attention should be paid to selection of materials that will not require VOC-emitting chemicals later as part of maintenance. For instance, in designing building foundations and structures, particular attention should be paid to the need for preventing termite problems, since the pesticides commonly used to control termites can have a deleterious effect on humans, especially persons with multiple chemical sensitivities. So, even though the material itself might be low-emitting, the use of products meant to "preserve, protect, or maintain" the material selected might emit volatile fumes that degrade indoor environmental quality and result in a building that is not suitable for persons with MCS.
In addition, during building design particular attention must be paid to choice of electrical appliances, equipment and products that may produce higher than necessary electromagnetic fields. The NIBS-IEQ Materials Committee recognizes that there are selections that can be made during building design and construction that can provide a more healthful environment for persons with electromagnetic sensitivities. A few of these considerations are: