The Healthy House: How to Buy One, How to Build One, How to Cure a ""Sick"" One

John Bower, Author Carol Publishing Corporation $17.95 (392p) ISBN 978-0-8184-0494-8
Even a healthy homeowner may feel queasy after dipping into this book. Bower, a designer and builder who has written about the environment, states that some people are highly sensitive to household odors, dust, molds and plastics out-gassing, then goes on to warn that the number of such sufferers is increasing. Perhaps, but since Bower presents no hard data, his authority is called into question. And though he offers a long list of technical and scientific references in support of his arguments, at other points the author undermines his credibility, tossing ecological brickbats at many of today's building products, not always with the accuracy expected of a building professional. For example, Bower faults concrete roof tile for its porosity (which encourages mold) and periodic need of repainting (paint chemicals can adversely affect sensitive people), despite the fact that, as most roofers know, much concrete tile sold is permanently color-glazed and non-porous. In a single sentence, Bower dismisses vinyl, the highest-selling siding nationally, as simply ``not recommended,'' with an imperiousness typical and regrettable. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-8065-1937-1
Paperback - 392 pages - 978-0-8184-0550-1
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