The State of Housing in America in the 21st Century: A Disability Perspective.; 2010.
In addition to modifications to make the physical environment more accessible, there is a need to consider the overall built environment, given the growing number of people affected by environmental exposures—a physical condition that is triggered by the environment. Symptoms include neurological, respiratory, muscular, cardiovascular, and/or gastrointestinal problems. Known triggers include the following: ● Pesticides: weed killers, bug sprays, treated wood products ● Solvents: paints, glues, gasoline, nail polish/remover ● Indoor air Volatile Organic Compounds: new carpet, formaldehyde, plasticizers, chlorine, fragrances and fragranced products ● Cleaners: bleach, ammonia, phenolic disinfectants, air fresheners ● Combustion-related: auto and diesel exhaust, tobacco smoke, natural gas, tar/asphalt ● Drugs/medical devices: anesthetics, antibiotics, implants, vaccines ● Electrical devices: microwaves, transformers, high-tension wires, fluorescent lighting, cell towers, cell phones These triggers can be in the housing unit, elsewhere in the building if a multifamily unit, and/or outside it in the immediate community as well as in locations the person needs to or would like to visit in daily life. While some of these products are used in development of housing (and buildings in general), many are introduced by people through the care and maintenance of buildings as well as by people being in the building (e.g., someone wearing perfume). Current estimates suggest that 11 percent of the population has some sort of chemical sensitivity. For people with environmental sensitivities, accessible housing must be free of these environmental triggers. However, unless the housing is universally designed to accommodate all the different sensitivities, for some it is better to live in segregated housing that assures control over potential exposures.