Presentation on theme: "Lively Somerville Promoting Green Building and Renovation Green Building elements and Somervilles focus on toxic materials. What is toxics use reduction?"— Presentation transcript:
Lively Somerville Promoting Green Building and Renovation Green Building elements and Somervilles focus on toxic materials. What is toxics use reduction? Why are the hazardous substances in building materials a concern? What are the alternatives? What can you do?
Building Materials with Hazardous Components Wood Products –Pressure Treated Wood –Composite Wood Products Flooring Insulation Concrete Paints and Finishes Caulk and Adhesives
Extraction and Production Storage and transport Product impacts through lifecycle Disposal Use
Building Impacts USGBC estimates U.S. commercial and residential building create or consume: 65.2% of total energy consumption 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions 136 million tons of construction and demolition waste (approx, 2.8 lbs/person/day) 12% of potable water 40% (3 billion tons annually) of raw materials us globally
When are the hazardous building materials a human health concern? 1.Production 2.Use Installation Occupant Use Maintenance 3.Disposal Workers Exposure Occupant Exposure Workers and Occupant Exposure
Why Are Building Materials a Concern for the Builder? Some very common building products are known to cause: –reproductive disorders –cancer –nervous system disorders –asthma and allergies Builders receive both short-term and long-term exposures to these chemical hazards: –Off-gassing VOCs - solvent based products and cleaners –Particulates - saw-dust and dusts from construction materials.
Why Are Hazardous Building Materials a Concern for the Homeowner? The average person spends more than 90% of their time indoors. Air in new homes can be 10 times more polluted than outdoor air. (EPA) Outdoors 10% Indoors 90%
Why Are Hazardous Building Materials a Concern for the Homeowner? Over 500 pollutants have been identified in building materials. Focus on tighter house construction for energy efficiency, means less ventilation of harmful vapors. Exposure to chemicals in the indoor environment can cause short and long term health problems: –Short term - Lung irritation –Long-term – Asthma and allergies.
Why are children more affected by hazardous products than adults? Children breathe more air in proportion to their body weight than do adults. Thus, they breathe in more of the chemicals. Childrens immune systems are not fully developed. They can not detoxify the hazardous materials as well as adults. Children also play close to the ground and have more hand-to mouth activity.
Toxics in Building Products Formaldehyde –probable human carcinogen when inhaled or ingested Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) –Petroleum –base solvents
What is Formaldehyde? It is a major ingredient used in industrial products as an adhesive, antiseptic*, germicide*, fungicide* and preservative. It is a strong-smelling, colorless gas that is chemically unstable. It will off-gas for a long time.
What is off-gasing? When solid materials evaporate at room temperature. Chemically unstable materials slowly release contaminants, including some additives such as dyes, solvents, and softeners. Time – some emissions decrease slowly over a long- period, while others cure immediately. Humidity can slow down the curing process and increase length of time material off-gases. VOCs are absorbed by some materials and re-released into the air. Materials that absorb VOCs include; plaster, rugs, and fabric.
Formaldehyde: Off-Gassing Formaldehyde is combined in the factory with other chemicals (urea or phenol) to form resins. When formaldehyde products are exposed to increased temperature and humidity, they start a chemical reaction which breaks apart the resin, and releases the formaldehyde. Urea formaldehyde is more reactive to moisture and off-gasses more than phenol formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde: Off-Gassing Does the Formaldehyde ever go away? The off-gassing process can continue as long as the material is exposed to sufficient moisture levels. Gradually, the "off-gassing" declines, but never goes to zero. It always returns when it is exposed to elevated temperature and humidity.
Urea Formaldehyde: Health Hazards Symptoms: Eye, skin, & respiratory irritation Wheezing & coughing Fatigue Skin rash Health Effects: Sensitization Allergies Cancer Asthma - high levels may trigger an attack
Formaldehyde: Exposure Rates Indoor air commonly measures PPM (higher rates exist where off-gassing occurs) Most people will first react to formaldehyde when the levels are in the range of 0.1 to 1.1 parts per million.
Off-Gassing: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Definition of VOCs Organic solvents that form vapors at room temperatures and easily evaporate into the air. VOCs can be toxic, harmful to the environment, flammable. Sources of VOCs Oil Based Paints Plastics Adhesives and Glues Solvents Carpet backing Asphalt compounds Plastic foams Vinyl flooring
Health Impacts of Solvents Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity Reproductive: –Infertility –Early miscarriage –Sperm toxicity Developmental: Toluene - Fetal Solvent Syndrome –Birth defects –Growth and developmental delays, IQ deficits, hyperactivity, attention deficits
Health Impacts of Solvents Nervous System Peripheral Nervous System (arms, legs) –Motor: weakness, uncoordinated, fatigue, tremor –Sensory: numbness, tingling, visual or hearing problems Central Nervous System (brain) –Thought Processes: memory loss, confusion –Emotional State: nervousness, irritableness, depression, apathy, mood swings
Overview: Green Building Goals People Minimize exposure to workers Create healthy spaces for occupants Use low maintenance, durable materials Environment Use resources, water and energy efficiently Avoid limited, nonrenewable resources Minimize environmental impacts
Design and Construction Opportunities to Create Healthy Homes Building materials are only one aspect of healthy building Landscaping Foundation Radon control Building envelope Air tight construction Ventilation and filtration Heating and air conditioning Moisture control
What is Toxics Use Reduction (TUR)? TUR examines the use of chemicals in a system, process or product, and asks: Why is this chemical being used? Is there another method or product that does not require the use of a hazardous chemical? If the activity truly requires chemical use, is there a safer chemical alternative? If no alternatives exist, is the chemical being used safely and efficiently?
Hazardous Building Materials and Alternative Products
Building Materials with Hazardous Components Wood Products –Composite Wood Products –Pressure Treated Wood Flooring Insulation Concrete Paints and Finishes Caulk and Adhesives
Composite Wood Products: Plywood Hardwood Plywood – interior grade –Is used indoors for cabinetry and paneling –Uses urea-formaldehyde (UF) glue as an adhesive to bind a core layer to a facing of higher quality woods. Softwood Plywood - exterior grade –Is used for exterior and interior structural applications - walls, roofs, subfloors (resilient, wood and laminate flooring and ceramic tile) –Uses phenol formaldehyde resin as an adhesive, which is a water-resistant glue. It off-gasses at a slower rate than urea formaldehyde glues. Conventional plywood is made of thin veneers of wood, bonded together with formaldehyde resins.
Composite Wood Products: Particleboard Is used for substrates in counter tops, shelving, stair treads, cabinets, door cores and manufactured home decking. It is used for subflooring under carpet, and laminate and resilient flooring. It is not as structurally sound as plywood and is vulnerable to moisture. Particleboard is smooth, knot-free, and hard. It has great impact resistance. Is made from wood chips bonded with urea formaldehyde resins under heat and pressure.
Composite Wood Products: Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) Is used indoors for underlayment of countertops, cabinet walls and shelves, millwork, molding, door parts, paneling, and laminate flooring. It is often painted, laminated or sealed. Is made from wood chips and sawdust bonded with urea formaldehyde resins under heat and pressure. EPA notes that Medium density fiberboard contains a higher resin-to- wood ratio than any other UF pressed wood product and is generally recognized as being the highest formaldehyde-emitting pressed wood product.
Composite Wood Products: Oriented Strand Board (OSB) Is used for sheathing. Is made from wood chips bonded with phenol formaldehyde resins. OSB was introduced as an attempt to compete with plywood as a structural material while using a low quality resource.* OSB is three times as strong as particle boards of the same density and resin content.
Alternatives to Formaldehyde Wood Composite: Bio-Based Wood Composites for Sub-Flooring Bio-based building materials are produced from plant fibers including: agricultural and forestry by-products such as soy, wheat, corn, kenaf, jute, sunflower seeds, hemp, bamboo, wood and paper waste. They can be used for for interior walls, ceilings, flooring, movable partitions, cabinets, furniture, shelving, etc.
Alternatives to Formaldehyde Wood Composite: Bio-Based Wood Composites for Sub-Flooring They are ground up or heat/moisture treated, mixed with PMDI – a non-formaldehyde binder, and molded into building products. Although they are comparable in price to plywood, they are not available locally and transportation costs are not economical. They PMDI is made from benzene and contains diisocyanate which is a known occupational asthmagen. We have not found any studies that data confirming that confirm that MDI does not off-gas after it has cured. Green industry people feel that it is less hazardous than formaldehyde.
Hierarchy of Alternatives: Nontoxic Subflooring Formaldehyde Free Plywood or Particleboard with PMDI binder It is not cost effective when shipping is included for affordable housing. Fiber/Cementboard This is a thin, high-density underlayment used in situations where floor height and moisture is a concern. It can be used with carpeting, laminate flooring, resilient flooring and ceramic tile. Cementboard Cementboard is used with ceramic tile installations. It is completely stable, even when wet, as it has a concrete core and is faced with fiberglass. Cementboard is more expensive than a plywood installation.
formaldehyde free particleboard made from recycled money formaldehyde-free sustainable yield veneer panels Formaldehyde- free laminated sheathing
Hierarchy of Alternatives: Less Toxic Subflooring Exterior Grade Plywood with Phenol Formaldehyde Has a water-resistant glue Air well Off-gasses at a slower rate than urea formaldehyde Seal with sealer product
Cabinets and Countertops: Problems Uses Urea Formaldehyde wood products: Interior grade plywood with Formica Melamine or Formica with particleboard core Extent of Exposure On average, 15 sheets of wood products are used to build cabinets.* Gases can build-up in cabinet and be released when opened.
Cabinets: Hierarchy of Alternatives Alternative Cabinets in order of preference - Solid Wood, Metal, or Glass Veneers with plywood or MDF substrates with phenol formaldehyde or PMDI (both hard to find) Alternative Cabinet Materials Factory applied finishes Water-based glues
Cabinets: Hierarchy of Alternatives There is no HUD label for MDF board. Sealed Masonite has fewer volatile organic chemicals than particle board Look for low-emission plywood and particleboard products with the following seals; European E1 (higher standard than U.S. HUD) U.S. HUD Label
Pressure Treated Woods: Issues Hazardous Types –CCA – Chromated Copper Arsenate –ACA – Ammoniacal Copper Arsenate Hazards - contain heavy metals including arsenic salts and chromium compounds which can leach out of wood on-site: –Toxic to humans and can affect target organs (liver, kidneys, etc.). –Toxic to the environment and can build up in the soil. By Jan. 2004, EPA will not allow CCA products for any of these residential uses: –Play-structures, decks, picnic tables, etc. –Landscaping timbers, residential fencing, patios and walkways/boardwalks.
Pressure Treated Woods: Alternatives Recycled plastic or plastic composite lumber (structural issues)** –100% recycled plastic –Wood fiber and recycled HDPE plastic –Fiberglass reinforced HDPE plastic FSC-Certified untreated, naturally rot-resistant, heartwood – caution, these can be naturally toxic (check local codes)** –Cypress, Elm, Western Cedar, IPE and Black Locust –Redwood and teak are mentioned but have other environmental issues Where sill plate is 18 above grade, a metal termite shield can be used instead of a treated sill plate, (check local codes).*
Pressure Treated Woods: Alternatives ACQ – Alkaline Copper Quat Although, ACQ is considered less toxic than CCA and ACA, it is not nontoxic. It can be used in any application that requires pressure treated lumber. Quaternary compounds are an asthmagen. The copper may be toxic to insects and aquatic life.*
Pressure Treated Woods: Alternatives Boron based woods – limited to aboveground, covered use –Any wood - engineered, sheathing, dimensional - can be treated by this method. – Eliminates need for termite treatments and maintenance calls. – Penetrates heartwood (CCA does not). – Non-toxic for handling, cutting, and disposal. – Does not need to be site-treated on cut ends (CCA does). –Borate pressure-treated material adds about $2,500 to the costs of an average sized frame house. Metal – steel coated with baked enamel
Cement: Additives & Alternatives These products are mostly an issue for people who have chemical sensitivities Hazardous MaterialsAlternatives Diesel or motor oil form release Vegetable oil Mineral oil Bio-Form Solvent based sealersWater based acrylic Sodium Silicate
Cement: Additives & Alternatives Hazardous MaterialsAlternatives Admixtures: super plasticizer, water reducing agents, accelerants, retardants, etc. Work in warm weather to obtain strengths and finishes without additives. Aniline Coloring AgentsMineral pigments such as Chromix Admixture, Lithochrome Color Hardener, or Davis Colors. Verify that the product is free of chromium and other heavy metals.
Siding Alternative: Fiber Cement Siding Fiber-cement composites offer an extremely durable, attractive and fire-proof alternative to wood. Can be textured to exhibit a wood-grain appearance or smooth in a stucco-type finish. Is available in panel, plank and shake styles. Some fiber-cement siding requires painting before use and some comes primed. Cutting the siding produces a great deal of dust. Shears, rather than saws, are best used to cut the material.
Materials Selection: Setting Priorities Short and long term exposures for workers and homeowners. Quantity – how much of the material will be exposed in the house? –Carpet and floor tile large areas Location – how close is a the material to the occupant or air handling systems? –Duct materials are in contact with the ventilation system –Vinyl tile maybe out in the unventilated mudroom Maintenance Requirements – what products are necessary to maintain a material? –Insecticides to prevent insect infestations in wool rugs –Biocides to stop mold in carpets –Solvent based finishes on vinyl tile floors
Materials Selection: Setting Priorities Emissions and Durability – what gases and particulates will be emitted during installation and use? –Fiberglass particulates are released during installation and use if not properly encapsulated. –Soft plastics, carpets, and formaldehyde in products will break down. –Plastics and solvent based-finishes emit VOCs. –Metals, glass, ceramics and some woods do not off-gas and break-down over time. Duration of off-gassing – how long will the material off- gas? –Paint finishes cure in a short time under the proper conditions. –Formaldehyde products and plastics off-gas for long periods of time.
Summary of Alternative Products Minimize use of formaldehyde based wood composite products. Use phenol formaldehyde or PMDI instead of urea formaldehyde as the binder. Avoid products with Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Use water-based finishes and adhesives. Eliminate wall to wall carpet, or use low or non- emission carpet and carpet components.
Off-Gassing - Sealing in the Gasses What is a sealer? It is a type of coating that is typically used to coat a porous surface to prevent stains and water damage. How can a sealer affect the formaldehyde? Sealers and finishes trap the formaldehyde gasses, slowing or preventing the product off- gassing.
Off-Gassing - Sealing in the Gasses What products can be used to seal a product? Finishes - water resistant finishes such as oil paints, vapor resistant varnishes, polyurethane, oil-based alkyd resin paint, and thick vinyl film. Remember these oil-based products contain solvents, and need to be cured as completely as possible, outside or in a well ventilated area. Veneers - non-permeable veneers such as metal and plastic.
Off-Gassing - Sealing in the Gasses How do I seal a product? Off-gas a material as long as possible before applying. Apply multiple or thick layers, covering all surfaces and edges of the product, and it should remain intact. Apply in a well-ventilated area. Air out the freshly-painted item for several weeks.
Finishes – Problem Types Solvents and Solvent-Based Paints, Stains, Varnish Polyurethane and Lacquer Paints – enamel, marine Stain and wood sealers –Polyurethane and Lacquer - Melamines, epoxies, and acrylic lacquers –Paints – enamel, marine –Stain and wood sealers used prior to staining –Solvents
Finishes: Problems with Paints, Stains, Varnishes Formaldehyde –a preservative Heavy Metals –Color tinted with pigments of lead, cadmium, chromium VI and their oxides –Waterproofing using mercury or mercury compounds Pesticides (biocides, mildewcides, fungicides) –extend shelf life –prevent mold growth
Finishes – Problems Most finishes off-gas. They can cure in six weeks, depending on temperature and humidity, unless improperly applied. Sensitive people can be effected up to a year after.
Alternative Finishes: Water-Based Polyurethane, Paints, Varnishes, & Stains Low VOC - not to exceed 380 g/l No Formaldehyde No Heavy Metals No Aromatic Hydrocarbons in excess of 10% by weight No Halogenated solvents
Alternative Finishes: Water-Based Low Biocide Eliminate biocide (pesticide) where possible. Where necessary, pesticides and preservatives added to water based paints should be in very low levels. Levels as low as 0.01 to 0.025% can be effective in preventing spoilage and less likely be adverse to health. Low biocide paints can spoil if not used quickly, and can be a medium for mold growth on a finished surface. May not be appropriate for applications in wet areas.
Carpeting All components of carpet can be hazardous: 1.Carpet Fiber 2.Carpet Backing 3.Carpet Padding 4.Carpet Adhesives 5.Seam Sealants 6.Carpet Treatments Carpet can trap pollutants Sources of Pollutants: –Vapors and particulates in air, e.g, VOCs. –Anything carried onto a carpet on shoes or wheels, e.g., pesticides.
Carpet Components: Hazardous Materials Carpet Fiber All Types: –Trap dust, moisture, and pollutants to varying degrees depending on the depth of the pile, the carpet density, and the type of carpet –Harbor dust mites –May be treated Wool – although it is considered the least toxic fiber, it: –May have a greater capacity than synthetics for trapping VOCs, especially formaldehyde and nitrogen oxides. –Can be dyed with a toxic or a non toxic dye. –Can get infested by moths. Synthetic –Fibers are traditionally made from petroleum. –Fibers can off-gas.
Carpet Components: Hazardous Materials Seam Sealants High initial emissions Hazardous Ingredients –Toluene, or –1,1,1-trichlororoethane, or –Other solvents Carpet Padding Volatile Organic Compounds BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) Formaldehyde 4-PC (4-phenylcyclohexene)
Carpet Components: Hazardous Treatments Carpet Treatments Pesticides – Antimicrobial, Fungicides and Insecticides Stain Resistance Antistatic Fire Resistant
Carpet Components: Off-Gassing After 72 hours to 4 or 5 weeks (estimates vary), Some pollutant levels will be reduced. Off-gassing will decrease with time,
Hierarchy of Carpet Alternatives Starting with the Preferred! 1.No carpet. Recommended by Asthma organizations! 2.Natural Fiber Area Rug: 1.Including Wool, Seagrass, Sisal, Mountain Grass (hemp), and wool with no latex backing, carpet pad, or treatments. 2.These materials will trap dust, pollutants, allergens and potentially moisture. May not be appropriate for all applications. 3.Synthetic Area Rug With no latex backing, carpet pad, or treatments.
Hierarchy of Carpet Alternatives 4.Natural fiber wall-to-wall rug: 5.Acrylic wall-to-wall rug: Both should have: a natural backing non-toxic pad, and no treatments. Can use: peel and stick carpet tiles, or carpet that can be fastened down with either: –double sided tape, –a hook and loop fastener, or –tacks.
Carpet: Carpet and Rug Institute Testing and Seal Program - Carpet CRI tests each carpet line four times a year for four categories of emissions. Criteria based on a maximum emission factor measured in mg/m² hr as follows: –Total VOC 0.5 –4-Phenylcyclohexene) 0.05 –0.05 Styrene0.4 –Formaldehyde 0.05 (to prove that none is used) – Criteria for the adhesive testing program are based on a maximum emission factor as follows: –Total VOCs –Formaldehyde.05 –Ethyl-1-Hexanol 3.00
Flooring and Flooring Components: Types of Hazardous Materials Flooring Materials –Vinyl and Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) –Wood Laminates – adhesives which off-gas Flooring Components –Flooring Adhesives –Finishes
Greener Backing System 100% PVC-free recyclable backing system with recycled content, made from thermoplastic polyolefin compound with a fiberglass reinforcing layerwhere:High performance environments requiring modular flooring why: thermoplastic alternative to PVC Dimensional stability of PVC with 50% less weight Superior de lamination and edge ravel strength to PVC Lower BOC's and smoke density test results than PVC 100% recyclable with recycled content and lower embodied energy than PVChow: Full spread Shaw Sureset N5000 releasable adhesive Ecoworx ES, Shaw's environmental self-adhesive system
Flooring: Vinyl Tiles Health Effects Organotins which can cause*: –Immunotoxicity –Reproductive and developmental damage in animals –Nervous and respiratory problems in humans. VOCs result from both installation and use of tiles: –the petroleum base of the tiles, dyes, and contaminates. –the adhesives to install tiles. Less emissions from adhesive backed tiles.
Flooring: Vinyl Tiles Health Effects Plasticizers - several types of phthalates are used in PVC tiles: –Since the plasticizers do not bind to the PVC chemically, they evaporate into the air, attach to dust, and leach into wash water. –Although it is not currently possible to test the amount of placticizer emissions into the air, they are suspected to contribute to sensitization in asthma, are known to affect the reproductive system, and are a possible carcinogen. * –They are being removed from baby products.
Flooring: Vinyl Tiles Pollutants When there is a fire, the smoke could kill you before the fire does
Flooring: Vinyl Tiles Maintenance Vinyl is porous and requires a floor finish to fill pores. Can be coated with; melamine, water based acrylic or polyurethane as a finish to create a no wax finish. Otherwise, maintenance is high, and maintenance products made of petroleum based finish and solvent based stripper products are hazardous.
Flooring Alternatives: Linoleum Materials Linoleum - Linseed oil from the flax plant, rosin from pine trees, cork from tree bark, limestone, wood flour, pigment, and burlap/jute backing. Adhesive – styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), water based. Finish – comes in water and oil based finishes. Concerns Occupant - may have an initial odor that people cannot tolerate. Also, ongoing oxidation of materials releases aldehydes, which some people may be sensitive to. Worker – respiratory exposure from heat weldable seams which require thermal plastic melt glue.
Flooring Alternatives: Linoleum Versus Vinyl Features and Durability More durable than vinyl, not as brittle as vinyl. As it continues to oxidize and form new chemical links, it becomes more durable. Higher compressive strength, 750 PSI versus Vinyl 75 PSI. Less maintenance, does not need waxing. The oxidation process makes the material inhospitable to mold. Pricing $4 - $6 per sq ft versus Vinyl at $1.75 sq ft Lower lifecycle cost, lasts 40 – 50 years
Flooring Alternatives: Tile Materials Tile Adhesive Grout Grout Sealer Features and Durability Price Pricing starts at $2 -$10 sq. ft Increased costs for substructure to support tile Concerns Additives in grout
Solvent Based Adhesives: Issues and Alternatives Hazardous Conditions Exposure during application Exposure in the home, when adhesives that fail to cure (due to moisture) continue to off-gas Alternative Products Low VOCs Water-based No formaldehyde
Adhesives: Product Alternatives Epoxy adhesives are relatively nontoxic when fully cured. White glue (polyvinyl acetate) is safe when dry. Yellow carpenters glue (yellow aphilatic resin) is safe when dry. Cement mortar for tiles. Water-based contact cement. 100% Pure Silicone Caulk – aquarium grade without additives for subfloors
Caulk Problems* –Aromatic and Halogenated solvents –Fibrous talc and asbestos –Formaldehyde –Heavy metals – lead, mercury, cadmium, barium –VOCs from petroleum base Alternative products –Less than 5% VOC by weight* –Reduce or eliminate ingredients listed above.
Purchasing Issues: Discussion Product Availability –Who carries it – stock item??? –Special order issues – distribution time Cost –Shipping –Minimum orders Durability –Liability –Warranty
Cost Issues Related to Building Materials Size of Initial Investment Additional structural work Design costs Material costs Shipping costs Additional Labor Costs Training Installation time Possible specialized installer Special equipment Length of Payback Less of an issue for developer who is not also owner Issue for homeowner Durability & Replacement Cycle How long lasting How often replaced Maintenance Schedule Labor involved Costs and hazards of products
Product Suppliers: Discussion Specifying Products in Bid Specs Local – standard products –Water-based finishes and adhesives –Copper plumbing –Linoleum –Hardwood flooring –Phenol formaldehyde plywood and OSB –Wool and some natural fiber carpeting Special order –Bio-based or PMDI wood composite products for subfloors, cabinets, shelving, etc. –Natural material flooring – sisal, jute, etc.
Some Resources Toxics Use Reduction Institute Asthma Regional Council EPAs IAQ Website Habitat for Humanity Green Building Initiative Green Built Standards Forest Stewardship Council Healthy Building Network Environmental Building News Sustainable Building Sourcebook BEES LEEDS INFORM Environmental Preferable Products Listserv Carpet and Rug Institute Certification Program