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Did You Know...

Julie Silas | July 08, 2009 | Materials

...that some chemicals used for stain or water repellency in building products last longer than nuclear waste? In fact, as far as can be determined, the most studied of these perfluorinated chemicals, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) - formerly the key chemical in Scotchgard™ - never breaks down in the environment.[1] Perfluorinated compounds...


Vinyl & Brain Cancer

Bill Walsh | March 04, 2009 | Materials

Fourteen residents of McCullom Lake Village, Illinois (population 1,000) have brain cancer. The incidence in the US population is 4 in 100,000.[1]  This is the largest brain cancer cluster identified in a non-occupational setting. In epidemiological terms, the chance that this is a coincidence is something like your chance of winning the lotte...


Something New for the New Year - Did You Know?

Bill Walsh | January 21, 2009 | Materials

We are kicking off the 2009 edition of the Healthy Building News with a new feature called Did You Know? We got the idea for this new column through research for our building materials evaluation project, Pharos, which regularly reveals things that may not yet be on your green radar, or that you suspected, but hadn’t been able to confirm. Did...


The "New Shower Curtain Smell" May Be Toxic to Your Health

Michael Schade | July 01, 2008 | Materials

A new analysis conducted by two independent laboratories finds that 6 hours after opening a common vinyl shower curtain, it would load a typical bathroom with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) over 16 times the guidelines for indoor air quality established by the U.S. Green Building Council and the Washington State Indoor Air Quality Program, and w...


Formaldehyde & Kids: Sleep Well

Bill Walsh | May 30, 2007 | Materials

In the May 11, 2007 issue of the Healthy Building News, we reported on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) decision to severely limit allowable emissions of toxic formaldehyde gas from particle board and other composite wood building materials. One week later, news reports documenting formaldehyde poisoning of children in the Gulf Coast regio...