Avoiding Toxic Chemicals

OVERVIEW

There are tens of thousands of unregulated chemicals used in our building products, so how do you know which ones are hazardous?

These articles look at some of the most-toxic chemicals, why they are hazardous, which product groups contain them, and alternatives to using them.

You’ll learn about:

  • the burgeoning green chemistry movement

  • tools like Health Product Declarations that tell us what’s in products

  • formaldehyde

  • polyvinyl chloride

  • bisphenol-A

  • flame retardants

  • perfluorinated compounds (PFCs)

We also offer guidance on design decisions that can reduce or eliminate the need for many of these problematic compounds.

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  • Spec This, Not That: Avoiding Toxic Chemicals in Commercial Building Projects

    PDF Report

    Spec This, Not That details approaches used by architects, designers, contractors, and building owners to reduce chemical hazards in their building projects. It also includes at-your-fingertips insights for designers and spec writers on which hazards to watch out for in the major building product and material categories.

  • Material Transparency for LEED v4: EPDs and HPDs for Metal Studs

    Blog Post

    Reducing your building’s carbon footprint or health impacts? Going after new LEED credits? Transparency documents for steel studs can help.

  • An Embarrassment of Riches: Products and Materials at Greenbuild 2017

    Blog Post

    A new focus on embodied carbon and LEED v4 are driving designers to dive deep into what we choose for our buildings

  • Finding the Building Products You Need to Do WELL

    Blog Post

    The WELL Building Standard has stringent transparency and health criteria for products and materials. Here’s how to find what you’ll need for certification.

  • The PVC Debate

    Webcast

    If, like a lot of people, your head has been spinning over the last decade as PVC has been debated to point where clarity is hard to find, we'll review the key context that underlies this whole debate—and where facts and opinions diverge.

  • Healthy Insulation, Buildable Details

    Webcast

    In a one-hour on-demand webcast, architect Steve Baczek and BuildingGreen's Peter Yost will give you real-world examples of how to select insulation materials that fit big-picture environmental concerns—and how to incorporate them into actual assemblies that meet the highest standards of performance.

  • Toxic Chemicals in Buildings: How to Find & Avoid the Worst Offenders

    Webcast

    As a building professional, your clients look to you to help them make solid, science-based decisions about even more complex products and materials. Decisions about a school, a multifamily building, or a commercial office space can affect a lot of people. Do you have enough information to answer the questions of concerned clients? There are no easy answers to any of these questions, but we do know how to identify and eliminate some of the worst hazards from our buildings. In the webcast, we'll take a look at some successful strategies.

  • Spec This, Not That: The GreenSpec Guide to 11 Key Product Sectors

    Webcast

  • Adhesives and Sealants: Performance First, but Materials Matter

    Blog Post

    Exterior adhesives and sealants are formulated for performance, but some contain chemicals that pose risks to unprotected workers or the environment.