The New Challenge For Lead-Free Schools

Bill Walsh - April 4, 2018

To mark National Public Health Week (April 2-6, 2018) national experts in education, childcare, and children's health today issued a joint call to get the lead out of schools and childcare facilities. Their report, Eliminating Lead Risks in Schools and Child Care Facilities, is the first to set strategic priorities for reducing lead exposure to the more than 66 million children enrolled in schools and child care programs. Working with these groups the Healthy Building Network identified a significant regulatory gap that allows numerous lead containing building products to be used in learning environments. While lead-based paints have long been illegal[1] under federal law, the law has not caught up with changes in the building industry that incentivize the use of recycled content that can contain lead. As a result, there are no legal restrictions on lead content in many common building products. HBN researchers have documented a growing roster of building products... Read More

Healthy Building Network Hires Two Staff, Seeks Chief Research Officer

David Kennedy-Logan - March 8, 2018

March 8, 2018 — Healthy Building Network (HBN) hired two staff in the first quarter of 2018, to bolster internal capacity, expand programmatic expertise, and drive future growth: Biftu Takele, Executive Assistant, and William Weber, Collective Impact Director. As part of our continued evolution, HBN is also currently seeking applicants for a new key leadership role at the organization, Chief Research Officer. (Details below.)   Biftu Takele was hired as Executive Assistant. Before joining HBN, Takele worked for two years as Nonprofit Services Assistant at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN), where she executed a range of duties including member and audience engagement, recruitment and retention, and database maintenance. She serves on the boards of both the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities and the Friends of Africa Education, and as a member of the MCN’s Inclusion & Equity Committee. Takele has a BA in International Studies and... Read More

Healthy Building Network is Growing

Gina Ciganik - December 13, 2017

December 13, 2017 — Healthy Building Network (HBN) hired two key staff in the fourth quarter of 2017. Two additional positions are currently open. (See below.) To strengthen work on two important tracks — our cutting-edge, data-driven product offerings and our communications, knowledge-sharing, and fundraising efforts — HBN recently hired Amy Denardo as Senior Product Director and David Kennedy-Logan as Chief Communications and Development Officer. They joined the staff in October and December respectively. Amy Denardo has 18 years’ experience managing complex enterprise products and projects from planning to completion. Denardo is PMP-certified, adept in Agile, Waterfall, and Six Sigma methodologies, and has been recognized for implementing innovative procedures and tools that drive awareness, strengthen communication, and increase efficiency. Before joining HBN she served as implementation lead at Wells Fargo, Truenorthlogic, and many other... Read More

Home Depot Raises The Bar On Hazard Avoidance - New Chemical Strategy Is An Important Step Towards Healthier Product Options

Bill Walsh - October 25, 2017

Home Depot today announced a chemical hazard avoidance policy that will prohibit numerous toxic chemicals in paints, carpeting, flooring and fiberglass insulation products. The Home Depot Chemical Strategy, included in its 2017 Responsibility Report, targets a range of chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, mimic and disrupt hormone systems, and impair brain function. The retailer's policies, for certain product categories, far exceed the chemical restrictions of LEED and most product certifications in these categories. The world's largest retailer of building products credited HBN's "guidance on priority chemicals and innovation" as it adopted many of the recommendations made by HBN and other environmental health groups in a dialogue begun in 2014.     By applying its chemical strategy to all products in target categories, Home Depot makes important strides toward equity in the green... Read More

Eliminating Toxics in Carpet: Lessons for the Future of Recycling

Jim Vallette - October 18, 2017

  "Eliminating Toxics in Carpets: Lessons for the Future of Recycling" - a new report by the Healthy Building Network (HBN) - calls for eliminating over 40 highly toxic chemicals in carpets that threaten public health and impede recycling. These toxics are known to cause respiratory disease, heart attacks, strokes, asthma, and immune and developmental health problems in children. The report outlines strategies to protect public health and the environment by eliminating these hazardous chemicals from carpets, increasing carpet recycling rates, and improving product transparency. Most flooring sold in the U.S. is carpet. Carpets hold a 60 percent share of the U.S. flooring market, with 11 billion square feet sold per year. Of that, only five percent is recycled. Billions of pounds of carpets are annually dumped in American landfills or burned in incinerators - releasing deadly pollutants into the air, soil and water. Carpet production is projected to grow 4.5... Read More

For more news and analysis from HBN's research team, visit our companion blog at the Pharos Project:

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