The Healthy Building Network was founded in 2000 to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals in building products as a means of improving human health and the environment. We focus on building products for two reasons:
-- First, the US EPA estimates that Americans spend as much as 90% of their time indoors, and can be exposed to unhealthy chemicals there at much greater concentrations than outdoors.
-- Second, the volumes of building products are so great – in excess of 3 billion pounds produced annually – that reducing the use of hazardous materials not only benefits the people who build, maintain and occupy buildings, but also the manufacturing sites and communities from which the materials come, and the dumps, incinerators or recycling facilities to which they are sent after their useful life.
There are numerous examples – removing lead from paint, arsenic from pressure treated wood, and formaldehyde from particleboard – of how reducing the use of hazardous chemicals in our building products can improve the quality of our lives and our environment from the local to the global scale.