Harmful Chemicals in Building Products

Potentially harmful chemicals are often embedded in certain housing products commonly used during energy-efficiency updates and retrofits. Building Clean can help you find out if products used in residential housing—whether for energy efficiency or other purposes—pose a toxic threat to occupants or installers.

HEALTHY PRODUCTS, HEALTHY PEOPLE

There are many factors in the decision to use certain products—price, availability, functionality, comfort and design being a few—but one vital question that needs to be asked is: are there are there health risks associated with this product?

All too often the answer is possibly yes—especially for children, who are more susceptible to negative impacts from chemical exposure. Chemicals are widely used in manufacturing housing products.  In all cases we must ask:

  • Is this chemical needed or is there a safer chemical that could be used to replace it?
  • If no safer chemical exists, why not?

By arming consumers, contractors, residents and others with more information about what is in these products, we can move toward eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals. 

FINDING SOLUTIONS TO AVOID TOXIC CHEMICALS

The information provided in the product categories below is designed to help you identify:

  • What chemicals used in building products may be harmful to occupants and installers;
  • What products and materials may contain these chemicals;
  • Potential health hazards from these chemicals or materials; 
  • Steps to reduce or eliminate exposure to harmful chemicals; and 
  • Products and processes that can help keep toxins out of a home's air and water.