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HBN Blog category: Newsletter

From Climate Change to Health: Material Selection Has Never Been More Important

Bill Walsh | November 2018 Newsletter

With apologies to T.S. Eliot, October was the “cruellest month.” On October 7, 2018, the global scientific consensus on climate change was revised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to conclude that catastrophic climate disaster is irrefutably underway and requires a level of “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

Five days later, the world pumped more oil and petroleum liquids than ever before. And the International Energy Agency forecast that “the largest driver of world oil demand” will soon be petrochemicals, led by plastic materials. Building materials are the second-largest use of plastics after packaging.

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HBN Blog category: Newsletter

NOMA Panel Addresses the Role of Race in Pollution Exposure

Bill Walsh | November 2018 Newsletter

Last month, HBN Board Member Brad Grant moderated a panel at NOMA Unbounded, the annual conference of the National Organization of Minority Architects. The panel coincided with recent studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that found race, more than poverty, was most closely associated with the heaviest pollution exposure from the fossil fuel industry; and a National Academy of Sciences report that found blacks and Hispanics endure greater exposure to toxics from industrial facilities, while gaining fewer jobs from those facilities than white populations. How can we close these gaps?

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HBN Blog category: Newsletter

Now That We See, What Will We Do About Fly Ash?

Bill Walsh | October 2018 Newsletter

When celebrated Victorian painter Edward Burne-Jones learned that a favorite pigment—it was called Mummy Brown—was in fact manufactured from the desecrated Egyptian dead, he banished it from his palette and bore his remaining tubes to a solemn burial in his English garden. Once you know better, you have to do better. Transparency in the supply chain can reveal inconvenient truths about favored products. Take the fly ash that’s used to gain recycled content credit in LEED and the Living Building Challenge . . . .

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HBN Blog category: Newsletter

Look for us at NOMA Unbounded, October 17-20

Bill Walsh | October 2018 Newsletter

HBN Board Member Brad Grant will lead an expert panel on environmental health and justice at NOMA Unbounded, the annual convention of the National Association of Minority Architects to be held in Chicago, October 17-20. Grant, a professor of architecture at Howard University, will be joined by award winning architects Roberta Washington and Tony Crusor, HBN Founder Bill Walsh, and Cecil Corbin Mark, Deputy Director of the West Harlem Environmental Action Group (WEACT). They’ll discuss Materials Composition, The Design Process and Human Health, Welfare, and Environmental Justice.

Learn more about the conference and schedule

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HBN Blog category: Newsletter

The High Cost of Cheap PVC

Bill Walsh | September 2018 Newsletter

Healthier, more sustainable alternatives have a hard time competing with a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic industry that is not held accountable for the costs of its environmental and human health impacts. These costs are paid by people like Delma and Christine Bennet, of Mossville, LA.

Learn more about the implications of chlorine as a feedstock in plastics in our Chlorine and Building Materials report.

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HBN Blog category: Newsletter

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.


 

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HBN Blog category: Newsletter

Retailers Showing Leadership In Driving Healthier Building Materials

Bill Walsh | July 2018 Newsletter

Building product retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, are showing welcome leadership in the drive toward healthier building materials. Their efforts are important both in scale, which could change the national supply chain, and scope, as these retailers are offering healthier products in all market segments, including lower priced items.

 

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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: Policies

Home Depot Raises The Bar On Hazard Avoidance - New Chemical Strategy Is An Important Step Towards Healthier Product Options

Bill Walsh | October 25, 2017

Home Depot today announced a chemical hazard avoidance policy that will prohibit numerous toxic chemicals in paints, carpeting, flooring and fiberglass insulation products. The Home Depot Chemical Strategy, included in its 2017 Responsibility Report, targets a range of chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, mimic and disrupt hormone systems,...

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