Material Health

Pursuing material health in the building industry involves avoiding or eliminating toxic chemicals from building products. Toxic chemicals are those that can bring harm to factory workers, installers, or building occupants. There are tens of thousands of unregulated chemicals used in our building products, and they can increase the risk of everything from asthma to obesity to cancer.

Materials containing these toxic chemicals include carpet, insulation, wet-applied products like adhesives and sealants, and many others. It’s possible to improve material health through better design decisions and product selections.

Material Health

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.

  • What's Your Hazard Avoidance Profile?


    How early or late are you when it comes to jumping on the bandwagon to avoid toxic chemicals in buildings? Find yourself on the hazard avoidance curve.

  • The 12 Product Rules


    These 12 product rules provide a simple approach to selecting better, healthier, and more environmentally responsible building products and materials.

  • VOC Testing: What It Can and Can’t Tell You


    “Section 01350” has come a long way since it acquired its curious nickname. Here’s what it can tell you about indoor air quality—and what it can’t.

  • TSCA Reform: Chemical Regulations, at a Cost


    In a world where we can’t even ban asbestos, a new law revamps how the federal government regulates chemicals—but some worry it steps on the toes of progressive states.

Product Guidance

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

  • BuildingGreen Announces Top 10 Products for 2024

    Product Review

    BuildingGreen’s Top 10 industry-transforming products this year include innovative heat-pump energy storage, electric construction equipment, PFAS-free textiles, healthier lighting, PV circularity, and more.

  • New Products from Greenbuild 2023: Part Two

    Product Review

    In part two of our Greenbuild expo product roundup, I’m covering CO2 heat pumps, a ground-source system heat pump system, agricultural fiber panels, construction equipment wash systems, and more.

  • Acoustic Wall & Ceiling Panels

    Product Guide

    Acoustic panels with high NRC ratings and low toxicity

  • A New Glass-Infused Fire-Resistant Interior Lumber

    Product Review

    OnWood’s sodium silicate infused fire-retardant-treated-wood is a less hazardous alternative to standard products. The company’s future products will offer insect and rot resistance and hopefully FSC certification.

In The News

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


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

Learning Resources

Syllabus supplements and CEU content, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.

Just For Fun

Something weird happens every April at BuildingGreen...

  • OK COVID, It’s HAMMER Time!

    April Fools

    COVID has upended our lives, homes, and offices. It’s time to fight back with HAMMER brand biocidal antifungal nonviral germicidal disinfectant antimicrobial therapeutic (BANGDAT) sprays, coatings, and composites.