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

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In The News

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

  • 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.

  • EBN's Position on Fly Ash


    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


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

  • Chemicals Are Safe


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

Learning Resources

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

  • What Makes a Product Green Today?

    Feature Article

    Lots of manufacturers call their products "green," but are they? Here's our guide to the high-performance attributes that matter.

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