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HBN Blog category: Materials

The New Challenge For Lead-Free Schools

Bill Walsh | April 04, 2018

To mark National Public Health Week (April 2-6, 2018) national experts in education, childcare, and children's health today issued a joint call to get the lead out of schools and childcare facilities. Their report, Eliminating Lead Risks in Schools and Child Care Facilities, is the first to set strategic priorities for reducing lead exposure to the more than 66 million children enrolled in schools and child care programs.

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Eliminating Toxics in Carpet: Lessons for the Future of Recycling

James Vallette | October 18, 2017

"Eliminating Toxics in Carpets: Lessons for the Future of Recycling" - a new report by the Healthy Building Network (HBN) - calls for eliminating over 40 highly toxic chemicals in carpets that threaten public health and impede recycling. These toxics are known to cause respiratory disease, heart attacks, strokes, asthma, and immune and de...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

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 gr...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

PVC’s Asbestos & Mercury Problems

Bill Walsh | October 03, 2016

For those of you attending Greenbuild this week, I cordially invite you to my Wednesday morning panel, https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/74303/000119312512463608/d436170dex991.htm. [2] According to IHS Markit, "A majority of chlor-alkali capacity is built to supply feedstock for ethylene dichloride (EDC) production. EDC is then used to m...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

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: Polyet...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Post-Consumer Flexible Polyurethane Foam Scrap Used In Building Products

Rebecca Stamm and Wes Sullens | July 29, 2016

Most post-consumer flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) collected for recycling today contains highly toxic flame retardants. The vast majority of this scrap material is recycled into one type of new building product: bonded carpet cushion. While the practice of diverting vast amounts of FPF from landfills represents a recycling success story, the pote...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

East of Flint, One Company Defiantly Continues To Produce Lead Pigments

James Vallette | February 18, 2016

If you are outraged by the lead poisoning of children in Flint, Michigan, take a look at what's happening just 250 miles to the east in Toronto, where a Canadian company continues to produce lead compounds and distribute them worldwide for use in paints and plastics. Long after most of us have thought lead pigments were no longer in commerce,...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Does Your Paint Contain Cobalt Mined By Children In The #DRC?

James Vallette | February 05, 2016

Amnesty International recently reported on the connection between popular consumer products and cobalt mined by young children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Their research “exposes the need for transparency, without which multinationals can profit from human-rights abuses like child labor without checking where and how the raw ma...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Common Decking and Insulation Pesticide is a Honeybee Killer

James Vallette | January 21, 2016

At very low concentrations, a chemical widely used to kill termites also harms honeybees, according to a new US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study. [2]  Manufacturers incorporate imidacloprid into exterior products like polystyrene insulation, vinyl siding, adhesives, sealants, and pressure-treated wood decking. Imidacloprid...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Perkins + Will, HBN, Unravel the Myth of “Clean Vinyl”

Melissa Coffin | November 18, 2015

Today, the global architecture firm Perkins+WIll What's New (and What's Not) With PVC, which explores the current state of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), written in partnership with the Healthy Building Network.  The vinyl industry has been on a new rebranding campaign: “clean-vinyl” [2] are two examples of the trade names at th...

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