Building Products and Health

Healthy Building Network (HBN)
The Healthy Building Network (HBN) focuses on the use of hazardous chemicals in building products and their impact on human health and the environment. The site offers current health reports about particular products commonly used in building production, such as PVC and recycled content materials, and products that impact specific health issues, such as asthma.

HBN also sponsors the Pharos Project, an independent, comprehensive database that identifies health hazards associated with building products. Pharos encourages manufacturers to disclose all ingredients in building products; helps architects, designers, and building owners avoid using products that contain harmful chemicals; and creates incentives for product redesign and modification to reduce the impacts of hazardous materials use throughout the life cycle of building products.

  • Asthmagens in Building Materials: The Problem & Solutions
    Hundreds of substances can cause the onset of asthma, many of which are common ingredients in building products such as insulation, paints, adhesives, wall panels and floors. This paper identifies asthmagens found in building products, how people can be exposed to them, and what is known and speculated about the impacts of these exposures. [url; HBN, 2014]
  • Full Disclosure Required: A Strategy to Prevent Asthma through Building Product Selection
    This exhaustive investigation of asthma-causing chemicals in building materials identifies commonly used interior building materials likely to contain chemicals that trigger of asthma, examines emerging evidence of how early childhood exposures to these chemicals are of particular concern, and looks at how existing indoor air quality programs and green building rating systems do not yet address this growing public health crisis. It also provides clear strategies for preventing building occupant exposures through product disclosure and green chemistry. [url; HBN, 2013]