"Red List" & "Precautionary List" Chemicals Found in Pregnant Women

Bill Walsh | November 18, 2009 | Newsletter

Can we agree that if toxic chemicals from a building material are showing up in babies, then that is not a "green" building material?

The Washington Toxics Coalition just released a new study in which they tested nine pregnant women, from Washington, Oregon, and California, for a range of toxic chemicals commonly found in building materials.

Specific findings of the study include:

Every woman tested was exposed to bisphenol A, the hormone disrupting chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic, the lining for food cans, and epoxy resins used in many high performance paints and coatings.

Each woman had at least two and as many as four perfluorinated compounds in her blood. These are chemicals used to create stain-protection products and non-stick cookware.

Every woman was exposed to at least four phthalates, the plasticizers and fragrance carriers found in consumer products and flexible vinyl products.

These chemicals are identified as hazardous on multiple levels by the 21 governmental lists scanned by the Pharos Chemical and Material Library (CML) -- the leading edge tool for green building professionals seeking to avoid some of the worst toxics in building products. (Click here for the CML profile for Bisphenol A)

In addition, these chemicals are also listed on The Cascadia Green Building Council's "Red List" and the Perkins + Will "Precautionary List".

You can read a Seattle Post Globe story about the study here.