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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.

Just Released: These Healthier Insulations and Sealants Also Improve Energy Efficiency

Rebecca Stamm | September 2018 | Newsletter

Addressing concerns that some insulation products contain and emit unhealthy chemicals, HBN is proud to release “Making Affordable Multifamily Housing More Energy Efficient: A Guide to Healthier Upgrade Materials.” Developed as part of our collaborative effort with the Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) initiative and other partners working to improve energy efficiency in affordable, multifamily housing, the new report contains recommendations that provide actionable value across building sectors.

The report features HBN’s materials research and provides important recommendations anyone can use to improve energy efficiency while reducing toxic chemical exposures to workers, residents, and the environment. Our research highlights chemicals of concern commonly found in insulation and sealants, suggests healthier material options for weatherization programs, and provides information and inspiration for anyone interested in healthier product options.

Landmark report provides little known details of plastics production: asbestos, mercury, global warming, and ocean pollution

James Vallette | August 2018 | Newsletter

On July 26th Healthy Building Network released Phase 1 of a landmark report on chlorine based plastics that are widely used in common building and construction products. Demand from the building industry now drives the production of chlorine, the key ingredient of PVC widely used in pipes, siding, roofing membranes, wall covering, flooring, and carpeting. It is also an essential feedstock for epoxies used in adhesives and flooring topcoats, and for polyurethane used in insulation and flooring.

Beware the Hidden Ozone Depleter: Upstream Impacts of Blowing Agents

Rebecca Stamm | August 2018 | Newsletter

As noted in HBN’s new Chlorine and Building Materials report, chlorine production is a major source of releases of carbon tetrachloride, a potent global warming and ozone depleting gas as well as a carcinogen. As this report reminds us, it’s important to consider not only the use-phase impacts of building products, but the entire life cycle, including primary chemical production that’s several steps back from final product manufacture. In our 2017 comments to the EPA, HBN uncovered another link to ozone depleting carbon tetrachloride in building products – one you might not expect – use in the production of low global warming potential blowing agents.

Chemicals and their Functions Now Connected in the Data Commons

Michel Dedeo | August 2018 | Newsletter

Looking for a non-toxic surfactant for a new product formulation? Now you can search the Chemical Hazard Data Commons by chemical function and easily compare the toxicity profiles of your hits. Every chemical in commerce serves one or more functions, whether it’s a solvent, pesticide, chelating agent, fragrance, or preservative. We’re excited to announce the Data Commons now includes 11 sources of functional uses, and about 160,000 links associating specific chemicals with a functional use, product category, or product.

HomeFree helped make the Liberty Bank Building a healthier place to live – What could it do for your project?

Billy Weber | August 2018 | Newsletter

As part of our HomeFree program, Healthy Building Network partnered with Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) on a pacific northwest demonstration project at their Liberty Bank Building. The partnership provided information and research for CHH to explore and select healthier, alternative materials, and led to a renewed, organization-wide commitment to health and their creation of a Healthy Homes Initiative.

Healthy Building Network will Present at the Living Product Expo – Register now and save 10%!

Gina Ciganik | August 2018 | Newsletter

Join us at the International Living Future Institute for the fourth Living Product Expo; September 11th-13th in Pittsburgh, PA. On Thursday the 13th, at 3 pm, Bill Walsh and Jim Vallette, along with Simona Fischer of MSR Architects, will present their session titled, Healthy & Affordable Building Materials: Strategic Transformation Opportunities, We hope to see you there.

For those with chemical sensitivities, a healthy home is critical. This new book offers first-hand insights and advice.

Gina Ciganik | August 2018 | Newsletter

More and more people are interested in incorporating healthier products into their homes as a way to decrease their exposures to toxic chemicals. In his book Home for Health, Hilton Tudhope chronicles his journey to build a healthy home – a “sanctuary for healing” and respite for his wife who battles debilitating chemical sensitivities. He used Healthy Building Network’s Pharos database as a resource. We’d like to thank Mr. Tudhope for sharing this practical, hands-on information and his inspiring story, and encourage you to check out the book!


Healthy Building Network Rolls Out New Brand and Website

Gina Ciganik | July 2018 | Newsletter

Knowing better is the first step to doing better. Our updated tagline - Know Better - is part of Healthy Building Network’s new brand and website, and captures the essence of our work. Our research, data tools, and education related to the impacts of human and environmental health from toxic chemical use, provide you the opportunity to avoid chemicals and products that expose you, your children, and your planet to unwanted and unnecessary health implications.

We invite you to explore our new website and learn from our resources. Together, it is possible to achieve a healthy future for all of us, and the generations to come.

Wishing you good health,

Gina Ciganik, CEO - Healthy Building Network


California Steps Toward Healthier Carpet

Rebecca Stamm | July 2018 | Newsletter

In our 2017 report, Eliminating Toxics in Carpet: Lessons for the Future of Recycling, HBN identified toxic chemicals and materials that are commonly found in carpet. We also outlined pathways to optimize these products for lower health impacts and improved recyclability. Ensuring the use of materials with lower toxicity and designing carpet for recyclability is key for California to responsibly reach its mandate of doubling the rate of carpet recycling by 2020. Several recent steps in California show promise in this optimization process.

Vote For An HBN Greenbuild Session by July 13th!

Bill Walsh | July 2018 | Newsletter

This year, Greenbuild has created a People’s Voice track, and HBN has proposed a session that we hope will earn your vote: the first conference presentation of our forthcoming global inventory of chlorine and PVC production.