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Reflections on High Performance Coatings

James Vallette | March 01, 2010 | Materials

With the release of this week’s final batch of Pharos staff-researched High Performance Coatings (HPCs), a total of sixty-five (65) products made by seventeen (17) companies are ready for viewing. Here are some preliminary findings from the evaluations, pending further review and data entry by the companies themselves. Content disclosure is p...

When Zero VOC Does Not Mean Zero VOCs: Beware the Tints

Tom Lent | February 25, 2010 | Optimizing Recycling

So, you picked a low- or no-VOC paint or high performance coating (HPC) and it still smells. What went wrong? It might be the tints.Listings of the VOC level in product literature for paints and HPCs generally only account for the un-tinted base product. Each ounce of colorant added to tint your paint or HPC may contain anywhere between 5 and 20 gr...

Sorting out the VOCs

Tom Lent | February 21, 2010 | Materials

Pharos Project users may have noticed that products that are advertised as no- or low-VOC, are not necessarily rated highly in Pharos. For most interior finish products, Pharos scores a product based on whether it passes a 14-day test for emissions of VOCs* such as FloorScore, GreenGuard or Indoor Advantage. The system then deducts points for con...

No, no, nonyl(phenol)

James Vallette | February 16, 2010 | Materials

Over the past half-century, epoxy paint manufacturers have used a chemical called nonylphenol to harden their products. In the built environment, the use of nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) is contributing to rising indoor exposures to endocrine disruptors (chemicals that affect the hormone system). (1) In aquatic ecosystems, NPEs deg...

The Pharos Project: Applied Radical Transparency

Larry Kilroy | February 11, 2010 | Optimizing Recycling

The Pharos Project, at its core, is a campaign for transparency in the building materials market. What we are creating is the ultimate campaign tool: a tool for users to locate the best materials to meet their current needs and enduring values; a tool to help cut through the prolific greenwashing; a space where users can discuss what makes a produc...

To Paint or Procreate – That is the Question

Julie Silas | February 08, 2010 | Materials

Bisphenol A (BPA) is the notorious chemical that water bottle manufacturers like Nalgene and SIGG have had to phase out because it leaches into liquids. The science is strong that BPA can affect the hormone and reproductive system. Yet, time and again when regulators or legislators try to propose legislation or establish regulations to limit the us...

Declined by NYT. We still think we’ve got a point.

Bill Walsh | January 28, 2010 | Optimizing Recycling

Last week, the NYT ran an editorial on the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), which in closing advises "wise consumers try to avoid BPA." HBN's letter to the editor was declined. Other fine letters were printed -- but none making our point: wise consumers must demand full transparency and disclosure of all product ingredients from manufactur...

New Report: High Costs to Health Care from Chemical Exposures

Julie Silas | January 21, 2010 | Policies

Today, the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign released a new report, "Health Case for Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act," that shows the high costs to our health care system associated with chemical exposure.

Pharos Project subscribers need to read this report. It provides a sobering realization th...

EPA’s “Chemicals of Concern” in Green Building Products

Bill Walsh | January 13, 2010 | Materials

On December 30, 2009, the US EPA initiated a process that could result in the regulation of health threats from four classes of chemicals that have been widely used in building materials. This action directs new attention to "green" building product standards that do not adequately account for health impacts, and underscores why transpare...