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Take an inside look into emerging markets and trends. Gain valuable new perspectives from HBN experts and our partners. Be inspired to know better.

Teresa McGrath, HBN's Chief Research Officer on Why Forever Chemicals Have No Place in Paint

HBN | May 2023 | Newsletter

Almost every day, news headlines warn us of the dangers of ‘forever chemicals’, known as PFAS, used in the manufacturing of consumer and industrial products. They're being found in our water, air, fish, and soil across the U.S. and around the globe, and our body tissues, showing up in almost every person in the US. A new report by Healthy Building Network (HBN) examines the presence of PFAS in residential and commercial paint products—and the urgent need to stop their use. 

We recently spoke with Teresa McGrath, chief research officer at HBN, and the report’s lead author, to discuss the team’s research findings. She shares what industry professionals can do to avoid human exposure, and discusses why—and how—manufacturers can eliminate them from paint formulas altogether.


HBN | November 2022 | Newsletter

Healthy Building Network is grateful for the continuous progress being made towards our collective vision that all people and the planet thrive when the environment is free of toxic chemicals. To our partners, friends, family, and all who work to make the world a safer place, we are most thankful for you.

Waterproof your building without polluting the planet

HBN | September 2022 | Newsletter

Hot-off-the-presses! HBN’s new waterproofing and dampproofing product guidance! Use this guidance to select product types that are yellow or above to decrease toxic chemical exposures to people and the planet. Products in green are the best options while products in red should be avoided. Those in-between provide intermediate, and meaningfully better options from a health hazard perspective as you advance up the color rankings. In short, strive to get out of the red-zone.

Embodied Injustices: Building Material Pollution Harms BIPOC, Low-Income Communities

Rebecca Stamm | September 2022 | Newsletter

Insulation is an integral part of our buildings, and better insulating buildings to decrease energy use is an important part of climate solutions. However, the current approach, singularly-focused on carbon fails to account for other harmful emissions associated with the life cycle of insulation materials—toxic pollution that disproportionately burdens Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and/or low-income communities. Healthy Building Network, in partnership with NRDC and Energy Efficiency for All, recently released a series of reports exploring who is harmed by toxic chemicals along the supply chain of building insulation, and how to make more equitable policies and products.

Affordable Housing Cooperative Transforming the Material Industry

Roberto Valle Kinloch | April 2022 | Newsletter

HBN recently completed a project in partnership with United Renters for Justice (IX), a nonprofit working to transform the Minneapolis housing system, to reduce tenant exposures to toxic chemicals used in building products. Funded through a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the collaboration provided the unique opportunity to co-create resources to help tenants and building managers make informed decisions about the products used in their housing units and common areas. HBN and IX are now excited to make these resources available to you!

Board Chair Monica Nakielski Sees a Big Future for HBN

Austin Wiebe | April 2022 | Newsletter

HBN is excited to welcome Monica Nakielski as our new Board Chair in 2022! A longtime champion of healthy buildings and spaces, Monica is the Vice President of Sustainability at Advocate Aurora Health. Learn why Monica is passionate about healthier materials and hear her vision for HBN in the coming years.

Pharos Helps Manufacturers Future-Proof Their Products

HBN | April 2022 | Newsletter

You’ve probably heard us talk about the hazardous chemicals that can exist in your paint, flooring, and other building products. But chemicals of concern lurk in a great many products, from food packaging and computer monitors to lipstick and sunscreen. Learn how Restricted Substances Lists in HBN's chemical hazard database Pharos help manufacturers in a variety of sectors lead the market with safer chemicals.

Low VOC? Don’t Stop There.

HBN | March 2022 | Newsletter

If you’re reading this article, chances are you are familiar with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals emitted from products into the surrounding air. Perhaps you even know that choosing zero- or low-VOC products is a good first step in selecting healthier building materials. But did you know that products labeled as zero- or low-VOC can still contain hazardous volatile compounds or other chemicals of concern?

Leaders You Should Know: Teresa McGrath

HBN | March 2022 | Newsletter

This Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating an incredible leader in the green chemistry and healthy materials space: our very own Chief Research Officer Teresa McGrath! Learn why she’s a champion for safer chemicals and healthier products and hear her perspective on the industry today.