Op-Ed

HBCD Isn't the Only Problem

Thanks for the excellent investigative reporting on the hidden chemical hazards in the life cycle of polystyrene and the persistent halogenated flame retardant HBCD that comes along with it (see EBN Aug. 2009). Just as we ignored carbon dioxide’s persistence and accumulation in our atmosphere and caused ourselves major climate change headaches, we ignore the early warnings about persistent bioaccumulative toxicants at our peril. As some have noted in the BuildingGreen blog (www.buildinggreen.com/live), the other major foams (polyurethanes and polyisocyanurate) are not exactly free of chemical hazards either and deserve more careful scrutiny as well. At the Healthy Building Network we'll continue developing tools to support the kind of analysis that EBN did here and to help the design community engage the building industry to develop safer materials.

Tom Lent, Policy Director

Healthy Building Network

Published September 25, 2009

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