Chemical Watch: Kaiser Permanente: managing chemicals of concern

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Kaiser Permanente has recently committed to phasing out the use of per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in its furnishings, removing flame retardants from furniture and banning 15 antimicrobials from the built environment.

Phasing out chemicals of concern, however, is not new to the company. In 2004, it phased out the use of PVC and fly ash in carpet backing at its hospitals and medical offices, and in 2010 it replaced vinyl lettering with a digital printing process.

Yet despite its experience in phasing out substances, the process – from identifying substances of concern through to their removal from its building projects – remains challenging.

Kelly Franklin