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HBN Blog category: Policies

As USGBC Tackles Wood Issue, Are Any Forests Out of Bounds For Green Buildings?

Bill Walsh | May 31, 2006

A May 23, 2006 US Green Building Council press release announced "USGBC Board Tackles [the] Wood Issue." [1] The Board has taken the unusual step of sending proposed new credit language, and a supporting whitepaper, to the LEED Steering Committee who will decide how the membership will consider and vote on the proposals. [2] The USGBC Boa...

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HBN Blog category: Policies

Architect of the Environmental Justice Movement

Bill Walsh | May 17, 2006

My life flows on in endless song Above earth's lamentation. I hear the real, though far off hymn That hails a new creation Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear the music ringing; It sounds an echo in my soul How can I keep from Singing?

Damu worked for nearly a decade in places that are rarely featured in environmental calendars and c...

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HBN Blog category: Policies

The Great Debate Over Certified Wood: FSC, SFI, Green Globes and the USGBC

Bill Walsh | April 27, 2006

In the March 24 issue [1] of Healthy Building News we discussed wood product certification standards [2] with Daniel Hall of the advocacy group Forest Ethics, which is not a member of any certifying organization. Representatives of the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) [3] -- provider of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) [4]...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

PVC Critic Publishes Groundbreaking Study On Molecular Evolution

Bill Walsh | April 11, 2006

The New York Times [1] reported on April 7, 2006 that Science magazine has published pioneering new research by Dr. Joe Thornton, who also happens to be HBN's science advisor. The new study "for the first time demonstrated the step-by-step progression of how evolution created a new piece of molecular machinery by reusing and modifying exis...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Scotchgard™ and Stainmaster™: A Precautionary Tale for the Green Building Movement

Bill Walsh | February 24, 2006

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital drew blood from the umbilical cords of 300 newborns and reported this month that ninety-nine percent of the babies were born with trace levels of perfluorooctanoic acid, usually called PFOA or C-8. [1] This industrial chemical was, until very recently, a critical component in the manufacture of certain fabric a...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

PVC Softeners Used In Building Products Cited As Health Concern In Autos

Margie Kelly | February 07, 2006

A new report finds that the "new car smell" contains dangerous levels of volatile organic compounds, including phthalates, which are used to soften plastics, particularly PVC. According to a new report issued by the Michigan-based Ecology Center, Toxic at Any Speed: Chemicals in Cars & the Need for Safe Alternatives, [1] cars expose p...

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HBN Blog category: Materials

Manufactured Housing: Blessing or Curse For Katrina Survivors?

James Vallette | January 23, 2006

In the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, HBN launched GreenRelief to initiate and assist efforts that emphasize environmental and social justice when rebuilding communities and restoring the natural environment. HBN investigator Jim Vallette has traveled to the Gulf States region repeatedly to assess the opportunities and barriers affecting gree...

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HBN Blog category: Policies

Transitions In The Green Building World: Rick Maas & Nigel Howard

Bill Walsh | January 05, 2006

December, 2005 witnessed two important transitions that will have far reaching impacts on the green building world in 2006 and beyond. We begin 2006 by acknowledging two scientists who have made important contributions to the green building movement. In Memoriam: Rick Maas, Ph.D. According to news reports, Nigel Howard -- alive and well, thankfully...

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