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Optimizing Recycling of Flexible Polyurethane Foam

Rebecca Stamm | April 11, 2016 | Materials

Flexible polyurethane foam (FPF) is found in nearly all upholstered furniture and mattresses, in car seats, and in carpet cushion. About 600,000 tons are incorporated into products purchased in the United States each year.[2] From 1975 until 2014, the open flame requirement of California TB 117 HBN GRAPHIC BASED ON CARPET CUSHION COUNCIL AND CALR...

Still Crazy After All These Years: Mercury Cells in the Heart of America

James Vallette | March 22, 2016 | Materials

For many decades, the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) depended upon a controversial technology invented in the 1890s that polluted the air and water with mercury. Today is World Water Day, and it’s worth noting that some factories still use this toxic technology, and are pouring mercury waste into rivers, lakes and oceans around the w...

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

James Vallette | February 12, 2016 | Materials

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, near 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...

Recycled Rubber Flooring Manufacturer Adopts HBN Recommendations

James Vallette | February 09, 2016 | Materials

In this month’s Environmental Building News, Paula Melton takes a deep look into the issue of recycled tires used in resilient flooring. She expands upon several issues, such as the use and presence of additives like benzothiazole, that we touched upon a few years ago in the Healthy Building Network (HBN) report, Avoiding Contaminants in Tire...

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

James Vallette | February 05, 2016 | Materials

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...

Common decking and insulation pesticide is a honeybee-killer

James Vallette | January 14, 2016 | Materials

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 migrates f...

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

Melissa Coffin | November 18, 2015 | Materials

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...

New Research Shows Formaldehyde No Longer Used in Residential Fiberglass Insulation

James Vallette | November 18, 2015 | Materials

The BlueGreen Alliance Foundation and Healthy Building Network made the following announcement coincident with today's opening of the Greenbuild Conference and Expo in Washington DC.  Both organizations have booths in the Expo hall (BGAF is located at Booth #t3766 and HBN is at Booth #2622).



Rapid change sweeps flooring industry

James Vallette | November 13, 2015 | Materials

Resilient floors and carpets made today are quite different than those made just a few years ago.  On Monday morning, I will join flooring experts from manufacturing firms, architecture and design firms, and hospitals, to discuss these changes at the Healthcare Design Conference in Washington, D.C. (1)

From recycled content to plasticizers to...

More Impending Changes in the Insulation Market

Rebecca Stamm | November 06, 2015 | Materials

Recently in Healthy Building News, Jim Vallette described positive changes in the composition of residential fiberglass insulation where formaldehyde has been completely phased out in the US and Canada.(1) We have also learned, in the course of research for the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, that significant material changes are imminent in po...