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Constructive Dialogues Begin With Disclosure

Bill Walsh | September 15, 2014 | Policies

Opponents of content and hazard disclosure tools such as the Pharos Project and the Health Product Declaration frequently raise concerns that this information will incite irrational panic about toxics in buildings.  In fact, to the contrary, there is a growing track record of constructive dialogues between building owners and product manufactu...


Truce or Surrender at USGBC?

Bill Walsh | September 03, 2014 | Policies

Last week the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued a joint press release announcing an unspecified “new initiative designed to ensure the use of sustainable and environmentally protective products in buildings by applying technical and science-based approaches to the LEED green building program.&rd...


More Vinyl Greenwash

Bill Walsh | June 06, 2014 | Policies

The replacement of harmful phthalate plasticizers in a growing array of vinyl products is fueling a new rebranding campaign in the vinyl industry. Clean-vinyl and Bio-vinyl are a few of the trade names at the forefront of this campaign to position phthalate-free vinyl as a breakthrough and advanced green product. HBN’s in-depth evaluation of...


Making Sense of Phthalate-Free Vinyl

Bill Walsh | May 29, 2014 | Materials

Today my colleagues in HBN’s Pharos Project have released the first comprehensive analysis of the plasticizers that are replacing phthalates in flexible vinyl building products. The replacement chemicals in phthalate-free vinyl are not always clearly identified by manufacturers. The level of toxicity testing and the testing results vary among...


FDA Acts On Antimicrobials

Bill Walsh | January 08, 2014 | Materials

In case you missed it, just before Christmas, the US Food and Drug Administration proposed a new regulation that calls into question the growing use of antimicrobial chemicals used in a wide array of products, including building materials.[1] HBN has reported since 2010 on how the safety and the efficacy of adding antimicrobials to everyday product...


You Make It Happen!

Bill Walsh | December 17, 2013 | Announcements

Dear Friends, When I ask people what they value most about the Healthy Building Network, nearly everyone says: your integrity and independence. That is the foundation of all of the work we do and all of the successes we've had since we began in the year 2000. That independent foundation has been built with funding from philanthropic organizatio...


HBN Report: A Strategy to Prevent Asthma Through Building Product Selection

Bill Walsh | December 12, 2013 | Materials

A new HBN Report, Full Disclosure Required: A Strategy to Prevent Asthma Through Building Product Selection, provides information on how we can, through the careful selection of building materials and furnishings, reduce and even avoid exposures to certain chemicals that can lead to the onset of asthma. This is the first report to cross-reference a...


Sacred Space in Houston

Bill Walsh | November 26, 2013 | Materials

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit the first Living Building Challenge (LBC) project in Houston, TX, and that is not its most compelling distinction.  The 1,120 square foot stand-alone art building at the Monarch School is maximizing the use of reclaimed materials, and minimizing the use of hazardous “red list” subs...


Greenbuild 2013 From A to Z

Bill Walsh | November 26, 2013 | Announcements

No one person can experience everything that happens at Greenbuild, the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) annual conference and exhibition. Last week in Philadelphia, as always, members of the HBN team could be heard in the education sessions, buttonholed on the party circuit, and found faithfully staffing the HBN booth in the Expo Hall. With...


Options? Rivals? Imitators? Transparency Market Has Them All

Bill Walsh | November 06, 2013 | Policies

The Health Product Declaration (HPD), within a year of its introduction at Greenbuild 2012, has inspired a growing array of transparency... options? rivals? imitators? One thing is for sure, we have entered a new age of market transparency, and it has changed the conversation about building materials for good. The Resilient Floor Covering Institute...