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Smart Resources for Understanding the Hazards of PVC

James Vallette | December 2018 | Newsletter

As the largest consumer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the building and construction industry shares a large responsibility for the global pollution unleashed by its production. In HBN’s first research report, Environmental Impacts of Polyvinyl Chloride Building Materials (2002), Dr. Joe Thornton observed, “The hazards posed by dioxins, phthalates, metals, vinyl chloride, and ethylene dichloride are largely unique to PVC, which is the only major building material and the only major plastic that contains chlorine or requires plasticizers or stabilizers.” Although many architecture and design firms, health care systems, product certifiers, and building owners have red listed PVC since Dr. Thornton’s report, global production of PVC continues to rise. This industry’s impacts are growing.

Phase 1 of our Chlorine & Building Materials Project updates Dr. Thornton’s analysis of the impacts of PVC production, from ozone layer depletion to the global distribution of bio-accumulative toxicants, from ocean pollution to fenceline community disasters. In a recent webinar hosted by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), I described our findings and their relationships to building products.


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.


Press Release: Landmark report provides little known details of plastics production

James Vallette | July 26, 2018 | Announcements

For Immediate Release, Thursday, July 26, 2018
Contact: Jim Vallette, jvallette@healthybuilding.net (cell: 646-522-1605)

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

The Healthy Building Network today released Phase 1 of a landmark report on chlorine based plastics that are widely used in common building and construction products such as pipes, roofing, flooring, adhesives, and many more. It is intended to inform the efforts of building product manufacturers to reduce pollution in their supply chains.


Fore! HBN Research Drives Understanding of Highly Toxic Chemicals

James Vallette | January 24, 2018 | Optimized Recycling

In January 2018, the Healthy Building Network research team produced technical reports on the trade, production, use and disposal of four highly toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative chemicals. Public health advocates used these reports to inform the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about previously unpublished ways in which these chemicals enter...


HBN’s Top 5 Healthy Product Innovations of 2017

James Vallette | December 18, 2017 | Optimized Recycling

When the world seems stranger than ever, it is helpful to keep in mind the bright spots. The Healthy Building Network research team found that increased manufacturer transparency and informed customer demand has produced many signs of hope in the building industry this year. Here are our top 5:

 

 

Formaldehyde-free mineral wool in...


Details on the new Home Depot Chemical Strategy

James Vallette | October 25, 2017 | Policies

Home Depot, the largest building product retailer in the U.S., has announced a sweeping new Chemical Strategy that considers several building product categories, including carpet, fiberglass insulation, paints, and laminate flooring.  (See related Healthy Building News article). Home Depot’s Chemical Strategy promises to accelerate...


Eliminating Toxics in Carpet: Lessons for the Future of Recycling

James Vallette | October 18, 2017 | Materials

"Eliminating Toxics in Carpets: Lessons for the Future of Recycling" - a new report by the Healthy Building Network (HBN) - calls for eliminating over 40 highly toxic chemicals in carpets that threaten public health and impede recycling. These toxics are known to cause respiratory disease, heart attacks, strokes, asthma, and immune and de...


Green Seal poised to launch “Greener Insulation” certification

James Vallette | July 25, 2016 | Policies

This week, product certifier Green Seal plans to release its new insulation standard, almost four months after receiving a slew of critiques of its draft.  It has not yet certified any products, but the organization is asking buyers to ask for “Greener Insulation” that achieves Green Seal certification.  We have not seen an ad...


Spinning Vinyl: A Response for the Record

James Vallette | July 13, 2016 | Materials

The Vinyl Institute, an association of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturers, continues its industry-sponsored campaign against the Healthy Building Network in its latest blog post, “VALLETTE COULD USE A FACT CHECKER… (AND A PROOFREADER).” Like earlier posts in its Vinyl Verified website, this article has no discernible author....


HBCD-free Styrofoam™ Insulation Coming to USA

James Vallette | July 08, 2016 | Materials

By 2018, extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation[2] Last month, Dow trademarked its butadiene styrene brominated copolymer by the name "BLUEDGE™."[4] Polystyrene insulation is the primary use of HBCD. The removal, recycling and disposal of this insulation from buildings will contribute to global HBCD pollution long after companie...