flame retardant-free furniture

HBS Joins Major Buyers Demanding Flame Retardant-Free Furniture In December, the Center for Environmental Health published a list of companies that are signing onto a commitment to purchase flame retardant-free furniture. Healthy Building Science joined the CEH Purchaser Pledge to purchase furniture without these toxic chemical additives. Other partners include Facebook, Kaiser Permanente, HDR Architecture, Perkins+Will,






Building Health Initiative Logo

We are excited to announce that we are new members of the U.S. Green Building Council – Northern California Chapter’s Building Health Initiative! The Building Health Initiative is a two-year program in which Northern California industry leaders from multiple sectors have pledged to promote health and wellness. Members have made commitments to take simple but






We decided to lighten the mood at Healthy Building Science by creating a funny building science video about what we do. What started off as a standard informational video soon turned into something very different. We hope you enjoy the results of this building science video. In October 2013, we assembled a team consisting of






TB117

You may have heard about the problem with flame retardants in polyurethane furniture foams. If you haven’t, and you want a safer sofa, I highly recommend reading the Chicago Tribune’s exposé on the flame retardant industry: Playing With Fire. The California flammability standard, known as TB117, in effect required manufacturers to use toxic flame retardant chemicals






The Materials and Human Health Summit provided a good explanation of the approach that LEED v4 is taking with regard to materials transparency in LEEDv4. (See my previous post, Tension at the Materials and Human Health Summit? for more on the event). In place of the controversial LEED Pilot Credit 54 that ignited some of the animosity between






Building Materials and Human Health

Tension at the Materials and Human Health Summit? A report from Greenbuild 2013 This year 25,000 industry experts descended upon the Philadelphia Convention Center for a week of networking and education to discuss Building Materials and Human Health at Greenbuild 2013. I was fortunate enough to attend the Materials and Human Health Summit, an all-day






Is PVC Toxic?

Friday, 13 December 2013 by

Is PVC Toxic to Humans? We are often asked, “Is PVC Toxic?” Is polyvinyl chloride (PVC or “vinyl”) is toxic to humans when it is used as a building product. Or, is it only problematic during manufacturing and/or disposal? The answer is that PVC is toxic to humans throughout its life cycle. In production, carcinogens and endocrine disruptors






Nanotechnology and Coatings

Wednesday, 27 November 2013 by

In helping our clients choose healthy building materials, I tend to be weary of coatings in general, but nanocoatings are of particular concern. In building materials, manufacturers advertise nanocoatings on carpets, upholstery, photovoltaics, and even toilets. I’ve seen these coatings used as stain repellants, waterproofing coatings or as finishes that create a smooth and easily






Safe Cookware

Friday, 22 November 2013 by
safe cookware

Does Stainless Steel Leach Chemicals? There is a lot of information in the blogosphere about health and safety in cookware, but when a client asked whether stainless steel leached dangerous chemicals, I was unable to find a quick answer to her question. I decided to look into the issue of safe cookware myself. In one 2013






Lead in Ceramics

Friday, 25 October 2013 by
lead in ceramics

Recently I was helping a client select ceramic tiles in her new home, and my initial instinct was to approve all the tiles as “healthy” without much research into their contents. I couldn’t imagine there would be any toxicity issues with lead in ceramics. Wasn’t Lead Banned in Ceramics Along with Paints? After reading that one






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