Vinyl Building Products Drive Asbestos Use In USA

Bill Walsh - March 22, 2017

New research from the Healthy Building Network (HBN) documents how vinyl building products, also known as PVC or polyvinylchloride plastic, are the number one driver of asbestos use in the US. These findings were presented to the US EPA last week in a technical report written by HBN Research Director Jim Vallette on behalf of three public health groups. The groups, which represent more than 450 organizations nationwide, submitted comments urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt new rules to phase out asbestos under the 2016 amendments to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The vinyl/asbestos connection stems from the fact that PVC production is the largest single use for industrial chlorine, and chlorine production is the largest single consumer of asbestos in the US. [1] More than 70% of PVC is used in building and construction applications - pipes, flooring, window... Read More

Perkins + Will Adds Antimicrobial Products to Precautionary List

Bill Walsh - March 1, 2017

Following the lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and other credible institutions, the global architectural firm of Perkins+Will is placing Products Marketed as Antimicrobial on its Precautionary List. The firm's decision was made after an exhaustive review of available information about the use of antimicrobial substances in building products conducted by Healthy Building Network researchers. Perkins+Will project teams will advise clients of reasonable alternatives where appropriate.   After extensive review that has spanned over 7 years, [1] HBN researchers were not able to turn up any evidence documenting health benefits associated with the use of antimicrobial products in building materials. These findings are published in a new white paper entitled Healthy Environments: Understanding Antimicrobial Ingredients in Building... Read More

Healthy Building Network and Google Announce Portico, a First-of-Its-Kind Building Materials Analysis and Decision-making Tool

Larry Kilroy - October 5, 2016

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Healthy Building Network and Google Announce Portico, First-of-Its-Kind Building Materials Analysis and Decision-making Tool Los Angeles, CA (October 5, 2016) - Building Industry Leaders Perkins + Will, The Durst Organization, Harvard University, and HomeFree Affordable Housing Cohort Join As Founding Partners   Healthy Building Network, the green building movement’s leader in health and transparency, and Google today announced Portico, a web based application designed to simplify the analysis, selection and specification of building products that meet health and transparency objectives. Portico offers a unique service that allows the key participants in a building project such as owners, architects, contractors and manufacturers to collaborate, research and make actionable decisions on healthy building materials.   “For the past 15 years Healthy Building Network has been a leader in creating the tools and... Read More

PVC’s Asbestos & Mercury Problems

Bill Walsh - October 3, 2016

For those of you attending Greenbuild this week, I cordially invite you to my Wednesday morning panel, Let's Talk About PVC. Join me in conversation with a group of experts who have highly divergent views on the topic of whether polyvinylchloride plastic (PVC) is a green building material. For those of you who cannot attend, consider this: Asbestos is an essential component of chlorine, and therefore, PVC production in the USA. [1] According to IHS Markit, "Chlorine consumption and production are driven by the construction industry." [2] PVC demand correlates closely with construction spending. Chlorine is the main ingredient (60% by weight), the "C" in PVC.   Visit HBN at Booth Number 1629.     Wednesday, October 5: HBN Founder & President will speak on the panel "Let's Talk About PVC" from 8:00 to 10:00 AM Session: A13, Room 501 ABC   Thursday, October 6: HBN Board... Read More

Ethylene Flood Threatens Viability of Polyethylene Recycling

Wes Sullens and Jim Vallette - September 23, 2016

Not all recycled content materials are created equal - especially when it comes to recycled plastics. In a new report released by StopWaste and the Healthy Building Network, we take an in-depth look at the health implications, supply chain considerations, and potential to scale up recycling of the world’s most common plastic: Polyethylene (aka PE). [1] This report, Post-Consumer Polyethylene in Building Products, is the latest installment in our Optimizing Recycling series. Polyethylene is a material widely used in product packaging, beverage containers, and myriad consumer products. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), and Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) are all readily recyclable in California. Polyethylene plastic scrap bottles and plastic bags usually have minimal contents of concern and are easily processed into feedstock for new products, including building materials. Despite the great potential for... Read More

For more news and analysis from HBN's research team, visit our companion blog at the Pharos Project:

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