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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  • Building Products Matter Even More Than We Thought

    Op-Ed

    Operational energy use is critical, but materials might be an even bigger part of the solution to climate change and other pressing environmental issues.

  • 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

  • Plastics Industry Still Shouting "Fire" At Its Own Peril

    Op-Ed

    The foam insulation industry's united stand against code changes could backfire in the marketplace.

  • EBN's Position on Fly Ash

    Op-Ed

    EBN is concerned about heavy metals leaching from products made with fly ash, and thinks these products should only be used if they reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere or if the risk of leaching is very low.

  • Chemicals Article Lacked Balance

    Op-Ed

    Reader Ross Leonard challenges us on our reporting in the recent article on chemicals in green building.

  • Chemicals Are Safe

    Op-Ed

    The American Chemistry Council responds to our feature article on chemicals in green building products.

  • Polystyrene's Track Record

    Op-Ed

    Steve Russell, of the American Chemistry Council, suggests that the hazards associated with polystyrene are being overblown.