How to build a cancer fighting house

Can innovation and design cut your cancer risks? Some remodeling ideas from the Home for Hope.

How much of a role does your home play in your risk of cancer?

Quite a bit, according to Ohio State’s Steven Clinton who teamed up with cancer survivor Charles Ruma of Virginia Homes to build a house, auction it, and donate the proceeds to fund cancer research.

Here are some blueprint highlights (and retrofitting ideas) from the 3,100 square-foot house (pictured) in Dublin, Ohio:

  1. All the air that comes into the house is extensively cleaned with a filtration system. This tech is used in hospitals and intensive care units, and it eliminates 99.9% of allergens, germs, and bacteria within the home. This is particularly important for treatment patients with compromised immune systems. The simple plug-in goes into the HVAC system.
  2. Carpets and insulation are formaldehyde-free. Hardwood floors are made of bamboo, an easy-to-clean natural product that doesn’t emit toxic chemicals.
  3. The wood products and paints have very low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to the EPA, high levels of VOCs can cause irritation, damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous systems, and some are known or suspected to cause cancer.
  4. Space is dedicated for a home gym to encourage exercise and a garden for growing fruits and vegetables.
  5. The kitchen is equipped with a built-in steam convection oven that cooks food while preserving the nutrients that might be cancer fighting.

“When you look at that one thing at a time it may not seem like too much, but when you put them all together, there really is such a thing as composing a healthy lifestyle,” Clinton says. “All of these together, I think make this a place where any family is going to be able to live a very healthy and productive life.”

In June, the Home for Hope was auctioned for $400,000, with proceeds going to the James Cancer Hospital for cancer research and to the Livestrong Foundation.

Watch a video here.

Image: James Cancer Hospital, Ohio State University

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