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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 | 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

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

Spinning Vinyl: A Response for the Record

James Vallette | July 13, 2016

The Vinyl Institute, an association of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturers, continues its industry-sponsored campaign against the Healthy Building Network in its latest blog post, “VALLETTE COULD USE A FACT CHECKER… (AND A PROOFREADER).” Like earlier posts in its Vinyl Verified website, this article has no discernible author....

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HBN Blog category: Materials

HBCD-free Styrofoam™ Insulation Coming to USA

James Vallette | July 08, 2016

By 2018, extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation[2] Last month, Dow trademarked its butadiene styrene brominated copolymer by the name "BLUEDGE™."[4] Polystyrene insulation is the primary use of HBCD. The removal, recycling and disposal of this insulation from buildings will contribute to global HBCD pollution long after companie...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

On Tire Wastes in Playgrounds

James Vallette | June 16, 2016

As temperatures rise on ballfields across America, so do concerns over the piles of tire waste upon which children play. Synthetic turf playing fields lie atop heaps of finely ground recycled rubber from old tires. In playgrounds, chopped up tire mulch is becoming as common as dirt.  In the United States between 2007 and 2013, enough ground ti...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Filled with Uncertainty: Toxic Dirt in Building & Construction

James Vallette | June 13, 2016

In a cavernous, lightly filled, State House hearing room last month[2]

Over in New York City, regulators have cracked down on soil traders, and say contaminated fill is going into the “cheapest hole.”[4], that received over 11 millions of tons of waste to recycle, including contaminated soil.[6] After losing its license, Pure...

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