Avoiding Toxic Chemicals

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.

Avoiding Toxic Chemicals

Deep Dives

Get up to speed on complex topics. You can also earn CEUs and download PDF Spotlight Reports.


Quick Takes

Jump straight to the essentials with these short explanations of green building concepts.


Product Guidance

Unbiased information from our product experts helps you separate green from greenwash.


In The News

We break news down to the essentials and provide expert analysis.


Perspective

Thought-provoking opinions from the most trusted minds in sustainability.


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  • 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.

  • Watch for Other Toxics

    Op-Ed

    Two architects argue that some of the alternatives to polystyrene, such as polyurethane, come with their own hazards.

  • HBCD Isn't the Only Problem

    Op-Ed

    Tom Lent argues that we should be looking beyond HBCD when thinking about toxic chemicals.

Learning Resources

A wide range of education options, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.


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