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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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HBN Blog category: Policies

2005 In Review: The Year PVC Phase-Out Went Mainstream

Bill Walsh | December 21, 2005

PVC phase-outs by leading U.S. corporate brands are now a familiar landmark on the road to corporate sustainability. On December 7, 2005, The Wall Street Journal reported that "Microsoft Corp. is curbing its use of a popular plastic known as PVC amid growing health and environmental concerns ... the latest company to distance itself from polyv...

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HBN Blog category: Policies

GREENBUILD 2005: Perspectives from Tabletop 12

Bill Walsh | November 17, 2005

Last week, the Healthy Building Network (HBN) attended Greenbuild, the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) annual conference and exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia. HBN Founder Bill Walsh spoke on a panel entitled "Ethics and Green Building," and our annual Healthy Building Leadership Awards reception honored six long-time environmental j...

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HBN Blog category: Policies

GREENBUILD 2005: Let The Good Times Roll

Bill Walsh | November 03, 2005

Like New Orleans, Greenbuild is a one-of-a-kind experience. The crowds are teeming, the culture is inviting, the optimism is infectious, and the good times roll with a confidence bordering on indifference to the surrounding forces that could swamp it all. The USGBC's ambitious initiative to host a series of Greenbuild mini-charettes in order to...

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HBN Blog category: Policies

Andres Duany On Rebuilding After Hurricane Katrina: Part I - The Gulf Coast

Bill Walsh | October 10, 2005

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has asked architect Andres Duany of the Congress for the New Urbanism to organize a design forum to plan the rebuilding of the Mississippi Gulf Coast communities. Elected and other key public officials and stakeholders are being invited to participate in this process to be held October 11-18 in Biloxi's Isle o...

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