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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.

HBN Blog category: Newsletter

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.

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HBN Blog category: Newsletter

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.

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HBN Blog category: Newsletter

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.

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Optimizing Recycling of Flexible Polyurethane Foam

Rebecca Stamm | April 11, 2016

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...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

More Impending Changes in the Insulation Market

Rebecca Stamm | November 06, 2015

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...

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HBN Blog category: Tools

Powerful New Open Data Project Gets Rave Reviews

Rebecca Stamm | October 16, 2015

Now in our 15th year, the Healthy Building Network has been busy as beavers, felling more obstacles, building more useful infrastructures, with more partners, than ever. In the coming weeks, we will be unveiling many of these initiatives with Healthy Building News readers and the world at large. Front and center among these is a collaboration calle...

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