The following passages from the book “Using Natural Finishes,” explain why using earth-plasters can help alleviate the negative conditions of modern buildings…
Earth-plasters are free of harmful chemicals and toxins, making them ideal for those with chemical sensitivities. They even have the ability to absorb toxins from other materials and bind odor, such as cigarette smoke, to decrease levels of indoor pollution.
Earth-plasters are porous, which means that they allow a building structure to breathe. They have a thirst for moisture which means that they can function to regulate levels of relative humidity in the atmosphere, improving air quality and resisting mold growth.
Found freely in nature, negative ions help humans absorb oxygen and feel more energized. Fresh country air is filled with negative ions; computers, televisions, and synthetic plastics, on the other hand, emit a positive charge. When in contact with water, clay releases negatively charged particles into the air. So, when walls with American Clay breathe, they help make the atmosphere of the room healthier, even reducing the effects of electronics in the office.
In addition, negative ions have been linked with an assortment of benefits to mood, clarity of mind, and creativity. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.
Earth-based finishes can also be positive for psychological well-being. They are inherently sensuous, meaning that being around them can literally enliven our senses and in an indirect way, bring us back into contact with the natural world. These finishes are inherently dynamic and ever changing, they are sensitive to the environment and can respond to seasonal and daily changes in temperature and levels of humidity and the atmosphere. In this way, being inside a building with these materials can literally serve as an extension of ourself, breathing and respiring as we do.