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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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HBN Blog category: Materials

Rapid change sweeps flooring industry

James Vallette | November 13, 2015

Resilient floors and carpets made today are quite different than those made just a few years ago.  On Monday morning, I will join flooring experts from manufacturing firms, architecture and design firms, and hospitals, to discuss these changes at the Healthcare Design Conference in Washington, D.C. (1)

From recycled content to plasticizers to...

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HBN Blog category: Policies

Kaiser says no to antimicrobial surfaces in its facilities

Tom Lent | November 11, 2015


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...

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