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The Harvard Gazette recently published an article concerning the health of our indoor environments citing studies that show many of us spend upwards of 90% of our time indoors. That seems like a staggering figure until you break down the numbers. We approximated 7 hours of sleeping time, at home, indoors. Though I’m sure we would all love 8-9 hours, this is the average. Another 9 hours minimum is spent indoors at work. Leaving the last 5.5 hours to be spent having dinner and relaxing. This may take place at home, in a restaurant, or numerous entertainment venues. The last 2.5 hours of the day are perhaps spent outside, though the more likely scenario is that these remaining hours are spent travelling to and from each of these areas of our day. Man… we really need to get outside more!

The article published by Harvard Gazette stated that there are over “80,000 chemicals in commercial use in the United States, [and that] less than 15% have health data available.” Another study released by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health this past May, led by assistant professor Joe Allen, “found that women with elevated levels of common flame-retardant chemicals in their blood may be at a higher risk for thyroid disease, and that the risk may be significantly higher among postmenopausal women.” This is one example of how our bodies and our health are impacted by these chemicals. Yet, we have no idea how the additional 65,000 chemicals found in our indoor environments and construction affect our health. Friends, this is truly frightening.

At AmCork, we work hard to bring a product that in beneficial and does less harm than good for both the indoor and outdoor environments. We pride ourselves in leading the battle cry and being able to offer a solution when our hearts break over studies such as this.

Cork is a clean material. It is naturally resistant to allergens and can help create a hypo-allergenic environment whenever installed. It is ideal in healthcare environments and provides the same benefits when installed in your home or office. Don’t think of a cold and sterile material when you hear the words "healthcare environment." No, cork is warm, comforting, and inviting, like a good hug. It literally cushions your steps when installed as a flooring material. It is also used as acoustic and natural insulation.  This can be achieved by installing cork wall or ceiling tiles, , or as natural insulation in walls or as an underlayment when paired with other materials.

Furthermore, cork continues to outshine all other materials with regard to its environmental aspect. Just as it is good for interior environments wherever installed, it is also good for Mother Earth. Cork improves its carbon footprint rather than causing more harm to the environment. It is a naturally renewable resource that is harvested by hand without harming or cutting down the tree. In fact, cork can be harvested approximately 25 times over a 250 year lifespan of each tree. Cork forests also protect numerous endangered species in the Mediterranean region, which, without cork forests, would perish.

As you can see, we could (and will) go on and on about the benefits of cork. There is a reason we fell in love with this material decades ago. We would love to introduce you to the world of cork and its amazing advantages, especially considering you are probably one of the millions who spend at least 90% of your day indoors. Let us help you create an oasis that you know will be good for you and good for Mother Earth.

July 01, 2016

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