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Kaiser says no to antimicrobial surfaces in its facilities

Tom Lent | November 11, 2015 | Policies

 

In an October 13 memo, the healthcare giant Kasier Permanente prohibited its design teams from specifying fabric, furniture or finishes with any chemicals from a list of 13 antimicrobials that HBN researchers found are commonly used in building products. Kaiser cited research from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that concludes...


Kaiser says no to antimicrobial surfaces in its facilities

Tom Lent | November 04, 2015 | Optimizing Recycling

 

In an October 13 memo, the healthcare giant Kasier Permanente prohibited its design teams from specifying fabric, furniture or finishes with antimicrobials drawing its banned list from a 2014 HBN study of antimicrobials commonly used in building products. Kaiser cited research from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tha...


State Seeking Safer Paint Strippers, Sleep Pads, and Spray Foam

Tom Lent | March 13, 2014 | Materials

“Is it necessary?” That’s the key question the State of California is asking about chemicals in consumer products that are known to cause serious harm to people or the environment. The state took a small but very significant step today in its Safer Consumer Product program, identifying the first three product-chemical combinatio...


West Virginia Chemical Leak Demonstrates Need for Disclosure

Tom Lent | January 24, 2014 | Policies

The steadily unfolding disaster in West Virginia, makes painfully clear why transparency is so important. About two weeks ago, a coal-processing chemical leaked into the Elk River, tainting the drinking water for 300,000 people. Initially the company at fault - a firm with the ironic name of Freedom Industries – reported that the leaking ch...


Ob-Gyns Raise Concerns About Environmental Chemicals Effect On Reproductive Health

Tom Lent | September 24, 2013 | Policies

“Toxic chemicals in the environment harm our ability to reproduce, negatively affect pregnancies, and are associated with numerous other long-term health problems.” So says a statement released yesterday by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the College) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)....


No Regrets: Why hazard and alternatives assessment can save lives

Tom Lent | April 01, 2013 | Policies

In a compelling article yesterday, the New York Times told a painful story of how workers in a furniture factory have been crippled by exposure to fumes from a toxic chemical used to glue foam cushions together (“As OSHA Emphasizes Safety, Long-Term Health Risks Fester”, NY Times 3/31/2013). Their exposure to sprayed n-propyl bromide...


Draft LEED Material Credit needs your comment by Dec 10 midnight PST

Tom Lent | December 02, 2012 | Policies

(updated 12/09/12) The USGBC has taken a huge step forward to address toxics in building materials in the most recent draft LEED standard that is now in public comment. The credit called “MRc4 - Building product disclosure and optimization - material ingredients” rewards product  transparency to inform product selection and enc...


From The Smokestack To Your Floor – Post Consumer Fly Ash?

Tom Lent | October 24, 2012 | Policies

*** Nov. 20, 2012 update:  NSF International Retracts Post-Consumer Fly Ash Designation. Click here to read. *** Should fly ash from coal fired power plants be considered post-consumer recycled material?  Amazingly, NSF International, the certification and standards institution, thinks so.  Two recent decisions added fuel to the...


LEED grapples with toxic chemical credits and toxic industry attacks

Tom Lent | June 18, 2012 | Policies

Will the USGBC’s new draft credits to avoid chemicals of concern in building materials “significantly undermine the goal of improving energy efficiency, and ultimately undermine our economy”? So said the American Chemistry Council this week in one of the more impressive pieces of bombast yet produced in their war in the halls of...


Fanning the Flames of Fear: Tobacco Science in the Flame Retardant Industry

Tom Lent | May 11, 2012 | Policies

It worked well to delay tobacco legislation for decades. Why not for the chemical industry as well? The makers of halogenated flame retardant chemicals are turning to the same techniques and even some of the same experts that effectively postponed tobacco regulation. A Chicago Tribune investigative series this week exposes in shocking detail how...