• Sat. Jul 31st, 2021

Health and safety drove design of this doctor’s gorgeous Houston home

Dr. Maria Cabanillas spends her days thinking about her cancer patients, the cause of their thyroid cancer and treatment.

So when the Houston oncologist-endocrinologist and her partner, Kris Griffith, 45, a health care administrator in the Texas Medical Center, decided to build a new home for themselves, they put into practice the same principals they focus on in their jobs.

A health-first approach in home construction and design sounds easy — after all, no one really is an advocate for using toxic materials. But taking a deep dive into the world of lumber, masonry, upholstery and tile can be complicated.

As a thyroid cancer specialist, Cabanillas, 48, knows that there’s research focusing on the link between thyroid cancer and increased exposure to fire retardants, which are common in many commercial and residential products. They’re used to make textiles and other materials safer, and they help electronics and building materials meet fire-safety standards.

But at some level, for some people, they may cause health problems, according to research.