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

New Subscription Research Project Will Map PVC Supply Chain: HBN Seeks Transparency Leaders To Participate

Bill Walsh - July 26, 2017

Today Healthy Building Network (HBN) is announcing a new pilot program of Subscription Research. For nearly 20 years, HBN has provided the building industry with in depth and independent analysis of chemical hazards, industry trends, supply chain and market structures, and the social and environmental impacts of product manufacture. The vision of our Subscription Research program is to support an expanded research agenda on a greater array of topics that are consistent with our transformational agenda. We will invite subscribers from all industry sectors, while limiting contributions from any single company. All subscribers will be named in the reports, and the reports will be made available to the public after an initial period of subscriber briefings. These are not collaborative research projects. HBN will retain editorial control over this work from start to publication as described on our Research webpage. The pilot project announced today will map the PVC supply... Read More

The Road to Optimizing Asphalt Pavement Recycling

Wes Sullens and Jim Vallette - March 29, 2017

Today the Healthy Building Network and StopWaste released the sixth and final report in our Optimizing Recycling initiative: Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) in Building & Construction.   Reclaiming and reusing asphalt has many benefits, including waste prevention, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and lower lifecycle impacts compared to virgin asphalt material use.   Tremendous life cycle benefits come from maximizing the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement and minimizing the use of virgin asphalt. Cold-in-Place recycling, the rarest form of asphalt pavement recycling, can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 95 percent per lane mile and save a lot of money ----  as much as 40 percent compared to conventional techniques. More common warm mix asphalt can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent compared to conventional paving, and increase proportions of RAP used. In our report, we provide... Read More

Vinyl Building Products Drive Asbestos Use In USA

Bill Walsh - March 22, 2017

New research from the Healthy Building Network (HBN) documents how vinyl building products, also known as PVC or polyvinylchloride plastic, are the number one driver of asbestos use in the US. These findings were presented to the US EPA last week in a technical report written by HBN Research Director Jim Vallette on behalf of three public health groups. The groups, which represent more than 450 organizations nationwide, submitted comments urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt new rules to phase out asbestos under the 2016 amendments to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The vinyl/asbestos connection stems from the fact that PVC production is the largest single use for industrial chlorine, and chlorine production is the largest single consumer of asbestos in the US. [1] More than 70% of PVC is used in building and construction applications - pipes, flooring, window... Read More

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

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