Press: Buildings

SF Chronicle: Law may cut use of flame retardants in buildings

8 Oct 2013

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law that may lead to a change in state building standards that would discourage the use of potentially hazardous flame-retardant chemicals. Because of laws passed in the 1970s, the walls of many homes and workplaces built since then contain foam insulation doused with flame retardants.…

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KQED Science: An environmental catch-22: fire safety chemicals in insulation pose risks

26 Jun 2013

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown directed state agencies to reduce water use and greenhouse gas emissions through a green building action plan to “shrink the state’s environmental footprint.” The order also mandated using “environmentally preferable products that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing goods that serve the same purpose.”…

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KQED Science: Flame retardants, redux: from toxic couches to buildings

28 Nov 2012

Speaking before a roomful of breast cancer researchers and activists in San Francisco earlier this month, Arlene Blum revealed her latest plan to get toxic chemicals out of our homes. “We want to change the international building code,” she said, “so you can have more fire safety in buildings without flame retardants.”…

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Scientific American blog: The environmental fallout of greener buildings

28 Nov 2012

Newer homes are remarkably energy tight thanks to superior insulating materials that are in wide circulation today. The energy savings can be substantial – homeowners can use up to 60% less energy in the most efficient green homes. Now, a study published by a team of researchers in Building Research & Information makes it clear that the very materials that provide us with such energy efficiency are pumped full of harmful flame retardant chemicals.…

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Science Daily: Health and environmental risk in flame retardants in building insulation

25 Nov 2012

Researchers in the United States are calling for a change to the US building codes, following a study showing that the mandatory flame retardants routinely added to foam insulation are not only harmful to human health and the environment, but also make no difference to the prevention of fire in buildings where a fire-safe thermal barrier already exists. Such a change would bring the US building codes in line with regulations in Sweden and Norway…

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