Blogs

Take an inside look into emerging markets and trends. Gain valuable new perspectives from HBN experts and our partners. Be inspired to know better.

A Tenant’s Call for Safer, Healthier Housing

HBN | May 2021 | Newsletter

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) awarded Healthy Building Network a grant to work alongside a community-based organization called Renters United for Justice to reduce toxic chemical exposures among vulnerable individuals. Read about one tenant's story and how a new cooperative is making strides to create safer and healthier housing for all their neighbors.


The Illusion of Plastics Recycling: Neither Just Nor Circular

HBN | May 25, 2021 | Tools

The production and use of plastics is predicted to soon be the largest driver of world oil demand. While plastic building products are often marketed in ways that give the illusion of progress toward recycling and a circular economy, the reality is that virtually no plastic building materials are recycled. Today our only choices for plastic waste are to burn or landfill most of it. And expanding plastics production and incineration is a conscious decision to perpetuate well documented inequity and injustice in our building products supply chain.


What We're Reading This Earth Month

HBN | April 2021 | Newsletter

This Earth Month, we wanted to take the chance to highlight some great conversations that are happening in our ecosystem. We compiled a list of some of the articles and media HBN staff are reading and listening to that we think you should know about.


Our Children’s Health Depends on Our Materials Choices

Teresa McGrath | March 2021 | Newsletter

HBN Chief Research Officer Teresa McGrath shares how doing her job and keeping her children safe go hand in hand. This article uses a personal story to discuss two groups (or classes) of toxic chemicals found both in household dust and children’s bodies, and shares recommendations for how we can collectively use our voices and buying power to shift the market towards safer products.


Modular Construction - Let’s Get it Right from the Start

Roberto Valle Kinloch | March 2021 | Newsletter

In November 2020, First Community Housing and SERA Architects announced a partnership to build a 66-unit housing project in Morgan Hill, California. The 66-unit apartment building will use modular construction techniques, offering a chance to explore healthier material solutions that leverage the technologies and standardized processes that are characteristic, or at least available to, the modular construction industry.


Dr. MyDzung Chu is Committed to Environmental Justice and Health Equity

HBN | March 2021 | Newsletter

As Women’s History month is coming to a close, Healthy Building Network (HBN) would like to take a moment to amplify the voices of the next generation of environmental health leaders - the Agents of Change. If you are not following them, you are falling behind! Today, we will take a moment to highlight the work of one of those Agents, Dr. MyDzung Chu. 


HBN Joins Industry Leaders in Antimicrobials Statement

HBN | March 2021 | Newsletter

In the COVID-19 era, the building products industry has seen a notable increase in demand for materials containing antimicrobials. Antimicrobials, however, are typically not added to products to protect people from harm. Healthy Building Network partnered with others in the building products sector, the architecture and design community, and experts in academia to draft a joint statement clarifying what we know and don’t know about antimicrobials in building products, and calling for more research, transparency, and truth in advertising.


Do you know what’s in your recycled material?

HBN | February 2021 | Newsletter

Using products that contain recycled content can be a great way to reduce environmental impacts and support a circular economy by keeping still-useful materials out of landfills and avoiding the impacts of manufacturing virgin materials. Unfortunately, some recycled materials contain toxic chemicals that come along for the ride when incorporated into new products.


HBN Adds Staff to Expand Materials Research

HBN | February 2021 | Newsletter

HBN is thrilled to welcome Cassidy Clarity as our new Materials Researcher! Cassidy will work with our research team to better understand what chemicals are used in the manufacturing of building materials and the impacts these chemicals have on human health and the environment.