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HBN Blog category: Materials

Still Crazy After All These Years: Mercury Cells in the Heart of America

James Vallette | March 22, 2016

For many decades, the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) depended upon a controversial technology invented in the 1890s that polluted the air and water with mercury. Today is World Water Day, and it’s worth noting that some factories still use this toxic technology, and are pouring mercury waste into rivers, lakes and oceans around the w...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

East of Flint, One Company Defiantly Continues to Produce Lead Pigments

James Vallette | February 12, 2016

If you are outraged by the lead poisoning of children in Flint, Michigan, take a look at what’s happening just 250 miles to the east, near Toronto, where a Canadian company continues to produce lead compounds and distribute them worldwide for use in paints and plastics. Long after most of us have thought lead pigments were no longer in...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Recycled Rubber Flooring Manufacturer Adopts HBN Recommendations

James Vallette | February 09, 2016

In this month’s Environmental Building News, Paula Melton takes a deep look into the issue of recycled tires used in resilient flooring. She expands upon several issues, such as the use and presence of additives like benzothiazole, that we touched upon a few years ago in the Healthy Building Network (HBN) report, Avoiding Contaminants in Tire...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Does Your Paint Contain Cobalt Mined By Children In The #DRC?

James Vallette | February 05, 2016

Amnesty International recently reported on the connection between popular consumer products and cobalt mined by young children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Their research “exposes the need for transparency, without which multinationals can profit from human-rights abuses like child labor without checking where and how the raw ma...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Common decking and insulation pesticide is a honeybee-killer

James Vallette | January 14, 2016

At very low concentrations, a chemical widely used to kill termites also harms honeybees, according to a new US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study.[2]

Manufacturers incorporate imidacloprid into exterior products like polystyrene insulation, vinyl siding, adhesives, sealants, and pressure-treated wood decking. Imidacloprid migrates f...

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HBN Blog category: Tools

Process chemistry update gives more information on how chemicals are produced and what residuals may be present

Michel Dedeo | December 18, 2015

Those of you interested in chemical residuals should take note: we just overhauled our process chemistry system for reporting the upstream chemicals in manufacturing processes and this affects the chemicals we flag as residuals.

As most of you know, the Pharos Chemical and Material Library consists of almost 38,000 chemicals and their hazards. L...

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HBN Blog category: Announcements

Making Buildings Healthier With Your Support

Bill Walsh | December 16, 2015

Week after week, month after month, HBN has blown me away this year. You have picked up the pace and amazed me with the quality and scope of your efforts. HBN's contributions are magnificent. -Rus Perry, FAIA, LEED Fellow, Vice President and Co-director of Sustainable Design, SmithGroupJJR   With your help HBN...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Perkins + Will, HBN, Unravel the Myth of “Clean Vinyl”

Melissa Coffin | November 18, 2015

Today, the global architecture firm Perkins+WIll What's New (and What's Not) With PVC, which explores the current state of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), written in partnership with the Healthy Building Network.  The vinyl industry has been on a new rebranding campaign: “clean-vinyl” [2] are two examples of the trade names at th...

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