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“Lively Somerville” Promoting Green Building and Renovation

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1 “Lively Somerville” Promoting Green Building and Renovation
Green Building elements and Somerville’s 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?

2 Building Materials with Hazardous Components
Wood Products Pressure Treated Wood Composite Wood Products Flooring Insulation Concrete Paints and Finishes Caulk and Adhesives Pictures - clipart

3 Product impacts through lifecycle
Storage and transport Use Use Extraction and Production Disposal

4 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

5 When are the hazardous building materials a human health concern?
Production Use Installation Occupant Use Maintenance Disposal Workers Exposure Occupant Exposure Healthy By Design: Building and Remodeling Solutions for Creating Healthy Homes by David Rousseau and James Wasley Workers and Occupant Exposure

6 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.

7 Why Are Hazardous Building Materials a Concern for the Homeowner?
Outdoors 10% Indoors 90% 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) References: John Bower

8 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. References: John Bower

9 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. Children’s immune systems are not fully developed. They can not detoxify the hazardous materials as well as adults. Photo – Microsoft Clipart Illustration - Dr Alan Cann, The Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Leicester You have my permission to use this image for this purpose. Please link to the original webpage at: -- Dr Alan J. Cann,  Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Leicester,  P.O. Box 138,  Medical Sciences Building, University Road,  Leicester LE1 9HN,  UK. Pound for pound, children take in more air, food, and water than adults Skin is more permeable Higher metabolic rates Immature detoxification pathways More vulnerable tissues, organs, systems during development Children also play close to the ground and have more hand-to mouth activity.

10 Toxics in Building Products
Formaldehyde probable human carcinogen when inhaled or ingested Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Petroleum –base solvents *Report – Poison Underfoot – Hazardous Chemicals in Carpets, Greenpeace Research Laboratories, University of Exeter, Technical Note 1/2001 Some people’s tolerance to formaldehyde is reduced following their initial exposure to the gas. In these instances, subsequent exposures to even small amounts of formaldehyde will cause reactions.* EPA – IAQ Web Site - EPA – IAQ web page -

11 It is a strong-smelling, colorless gas that is chemically unstable.
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. *Report – Poison Underfoot – Hazardous Chemicals in Carpets, Greenpeace Research Laboratories, University of Exeter, Technical Note 1/2001 EPA – IAQ web page -

12 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. *Report – Poison Underfoot – Hazardous Chemicals in Carpets, Greenpeace Research Laboratories, University of Exeter, Technical Note 1/2001 EPA – IAQ web page -

13 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. EPA – IAQ Web Site -

14 Formaldehyde: Products
FLAKE AND WAFER BOARD PARTICLEBOARD PLYWOOD PANELING INTERIOR & EXTERIOR GRADE PLYWOOD FIBERGLASS & MINERAL WOOL INSULATION BINDERS FORMICA PLUMBING FIXTURES COUNTER & TABLE TOPS RESINS & OIL-BASED PAINTS PAINT & WOOD FINISHES MILDEW WATERPROOFING ANTI-STATIC AGENTS PRESERVATIVES ACRYLIC MATERIALS WOOL FIBERS NYLON FIBERS RAYON CARPET BACKING FIBERBOARD GLUES

15 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. EPA – IAQ Web Site -

16 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 Allergy reference by Doug Schoon, M.S. Director of R&D at Creative Nail Design in his article: Formaldehyde or DMA? What is the Difference? EPA – IAQ Web Site -

17 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. A HOME BUYER'S GUIDE TO ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDs By The Alexander Law Firm and Alexander, Hawes & Audet, LLP Picture - clipart

18 Formaldehyde: Health Affects Exposure Levels
No effects PPM Odor threshold PPM Neurophysiological effects PPM Eye irritation PPM Upper respiratory irritation PPM Lower airway and pulmonary effects PPM Pulmonary edema, pneumonia PPM Death PPM *

19 Formaldehyde: Product Emission Rates
Formaldehyde Emissions (µg/m²/hr) Fiber Glass Insulation (R-19) 32 Permanent press shirt (unwashed) 107 Permanent press shirts (washed once) 45 Permanent press draperies 215 ½” Hardwood plywood 103 ¾” Industrial Particleboard 170 ¼” Prefinished plywood wall paneling 181 20 mil Cabinet decorative laminate 51 Floor finish (base coat, after 22 hours) 10,800 Chart information from California Environmental Protection Agency

20 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 References - Healthy By Design: Building and Remodeling Solutions for Creating Healthy Homes by David Rousseau and James Wasley Pictures from clipart and the web.

21 Health Impacts of Solvents Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity
Infertility Early miscarriage Sperm toxicity Developmental: Toluene - “Fetal Solvent Syndrome” Birth defects Growth and developmental delays, IQ deficits, hyperactivity, attention deficits Information from Ted Schetler, Physicians for Social Responsibility Need to determine which solvents in what quantity******

22 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 Information from Ted Schetler, Physicians for Social Responsibility

23 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 Picture – clipart

24 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 Picture – modified from

25 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?

26 Hazardous Building Materials and Alternative Products
Picture -

27 Building Materials with Hazardous Components
Wood Products Composite Wood Products Pressure Treated Wood Flooring Insulation Concrete Paints and Finishes Caulk and Adhesives Pictures - clipart

28 Composite Wood Products: Plywood
Conventional plywood is made of thin veneers of wood, bonded together with formaldehyde resins. 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. Information - Children’s Health Environmental Coalition -

29 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. Pictures and references to product uses: Composite Panel Association and References - Children’s Health Environmental Coalition -

30 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. EPA – IAQ Website -

31 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. *Illston 1994 Picture - This document is a student production providing detailed information on OSB for the Forest Products unit, Department of Forestry, Australian National University. By Glenn Bailey

32 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.

33 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.

34 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.

35 http://www.greenguide.com Formaldehyde- free laminated sheathing
formaldehyde free particleboard made from recycled money formaldehyde-free sustainable yield veneer panels

36 Has a water-resistant glue Air well
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 Picture -

37 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. Reference: Healthy By Design: Building and Remodeling Solutions for Creating Healthy Homes by David Rousseau and James Wasley Reference: Prescriptions for a Healthy House, A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders and Homeowners – Baker Laporte, Elliot, and Banta, New Society Publishers, 2001 *http://www.raintree-kitchens.com/environ2.html

38 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 Seals – Healthy By Design: Building and Remodeling Solutions for Creating Healthy Homes by David Rousseau and James Wasley Picture – non-formaldehyde cabinets -

39 Cabinets: Hierarchy of Alternatives
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 HUD Information - There is no HUD label for MDF board.

40 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. EPA reference: EPA PR - TUESDAY, FEB. 12, WHITMAN ANNOUNCES TRANSITION FROM CONSUMER USE OF TREATED WOOD CONTAINING ARSENIC

41 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).* * Prescriptions for a Healthy House ** Green Spec Directory,by Environmental Building News Picture from web They are physical barriers to termites which prevent them from building invisible tunnels. They are used in conjunction with concrete or solid masonry walls, and are fabricated of sheet metal which is unrolled and attached over the foundation walls. The edges are then bent at a 45 degree angle. They must be very tightly constructed, and all joints must be completely sealed by soldering, or with a tar-like bituminous compound. They help prevent dampness from wicking to adjoining wood members which can result in rot, thus making the material more attractive to termites and other pests. Metal flashing and metal plates can also be used as a barrier between piers and beams of structures such as decks, which are particularly vulnerable to termite attack. Reference: Sustainable Building Sourcebook, Non Toxic Termite Control, City of Austin, Texas

42 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.* Pictures - *A Sane Home: In A Plywood, Particleboard & Pressure-Treated Wood World by Kristin Ebbert © Eco-Products, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

43 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 References Green Spec Directory, by Environmental Building News Sustainable Building Sourcebook

44 Cement: Additives & Alternatives
These products are mostly an issue for people who have chemical sensitivities Hazardous Materials Alternatives Diesel or motor oil form release Vegetable oil Mineral oil Bio-Form Solvent based sealers Water based acrylic Sodium Silicate Reference: Prescriptions for a Healthy House, A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders and Homeowners – Baker Laporte, Elliot, and Banta, New Society Publishers, 2001

45 Cement: Additives & Alternatives
Hazardous Materials Alternatives Admixtures: super plasticizer, water reducing agents, accelerants, retardants, etc. Work in warm weather to obtain strengths and finishes without additives. Aniline Coloring Agents Mineral pigments such as Chromix Admixture, Lithochrome Color Hardener, or Davis Colors. Verify that the product is free of chromium and other heavy metals. Reference: Prescriptions for a Healthy House, A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders and Homeowners – Baker Laporte, Elliot, and Banta, New Society Publishers, 2001 Super plasicizers may contain sulfonated melamine, formaldehyde condensates, sulfonated naphthalene.

46 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. Center for Resourceful Building Technology

47 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 Healthy By Design: Building and Remodeling Solutions for Creating Healthy Homes by David Rousseau and James Wasley

48 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. Healthy By Design: Building and Remodeling Solutions for Creating Healthy Homes by David Rousseau and James Wasley

49 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.

50 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. Healthy By Design: Building and Remodeling Solutions for Creating Healthy Homes by David Rousseau and James Wasley

51 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.

52 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.

53 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 Stain and wood sealers used prior to staining Solvents Picture from web

54 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 Sustainable Building Source Book, City of Austin Green Building Program Picture - clipart

55 Sensitive people can be effected up to a year after.
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. Picture modified from clipart

56 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 Reference – modified from the Sustainable Building Source Book, City of Austin Green Building Program

57 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. Reference – modified from the Sustainable Building Source Book, City of Austin Green Building Program

58 Carpeting 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. All components of carpet can be hazardous: Carpet Fiber Carpet Backing Carpet Padding Carpet Adhesives Seam Sealants Carpet Treatments Carpet Adhesives Carpet is installed with a secondary backing material, using either: A single glue down, or A double glue down where the cushion is glued down first and then the carpet. (there is 1 ½ times more emissions than single glue down) Hazardous Ingredients - SBR Latex Is in most carpet adhesives Is the largest source of short-term VOC carpet emissions Some pollutants such as pesticides that can be somewhat broken down by ultraviolet light and the outdoor elements,persist inside. The higher a carpet's pile, the more difficult it is to vacumm dirt out.

59 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. Carpeting, Indoor Air Quality, and the Environment From EBN Volume 3, No November/December 1994

60 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) Environmental Resource Guide 1997, Carpets, Cushions, and Adhesives Graphic - clipart Carpet Backing Can make up to 60% of the carpet in weight The primary backing material for walk to wall carpet can be: polypropylene (also be the secondary backing) jute Backing materials for carpet tiles can be nonwoven synthetic Binders used to attach the backing to the rug include: Synthetic rubber (SBR Latex) – off-gasses VOCs Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – contains lead and phthalates Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) Polyurethane

61 Carpet Components: Hazardous Treatments
Carpet Treatments Pesticides – Antimicrobial, Fungicides and Insecticides Stain Resistance Antistatic Fire Resistant Healthy Flooring Network – Guide to Healthy Flooring

62 Carpet Components: Off-Gassing
Off-gassing will decrease with time, John Bower – The Floor Plan for Health, East West Magazine, 1989, p. 55 I have read a number of different estimates so I put in a range. Picture – Microsoft clipart After 72 hours to 4 or 5 weeks (estimates vary), Some pollutant levels will be reduced.

63 Hierarchy of Carpet Alternatives
Starting with the Preferred! No carpet. Recommended by Asthma organizations! Natural Fiber Area Rug: Including Wool, Seagrass, Sisal, Mountain Grass (hemp), and wool with no latex backing, carpet pad, or treatments. These materials will trap dust, pollutants, allergens and potentially moisture. May not be appropriate for all applications. Synthetic Area Rug With no latex backing, carpet pad, or treatments. Picture - © COPYRIGHT ECO-FRIENDLY FLOORING 2003 Carpeting, Indoor Air Quality, and the Environment From EBN Volume 3, No November/December 1994

64 Hierarchy of Carpet Alternatives
Natural fiber wall-to-wall rug: 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. Picture – Clipart Replace adhesive product - use non-adhesive fastening systems E.g., Tac-Fast ™, a hook-and-loop ("Velcro") carpet fastening technology Products that can be installed by double-stick tape Peel and stick carpet tiles Use less toxic adhesive product Low VOC Solvent free Reduce the total VOC emissions from all rug components and eliminate where possible: Fiber Cushions Adhesives Seam Sealants Backing Reduce or eliminate carpet treatments: Pesticides – Biocide, Insecticide, Mildewcide Stain Resistance Antistatic Flame Retardant

65 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 4-Phenylcyclohexene) 0.05 Styrene 0.4 Formaldehyde (to prove that none is used) Criteria for the adhesive testing program are based on a maximum emission factor as follows: Total VOCs Formaldehyde Ethyl-1-Hexanol Carpeting, Indoor Air Quality, and the Environment From EBN Volume 3, No November/December 1994 Cushion products are characterized as: prime polyurethane, bonded polyurethane mechanically frothed polyurethane rubber – hair, rubber – jute synthetic fiber resinated or coated synthetic fiber rubber and rubberized polyurethane Criteria are a maximum emission factor: Total Volatile Organic Compounds mg/m² ∙ hr BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) mg/m² ∙ hr Formaldehyde mg/m² ∙ hr 4-PC (4-phenylcyclohexene) mg/m² ∙ hr

66

67 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

68 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

69 Flooring: Vinyl Tiles Health Effects
Organotins which can cause*: Immunotoxicity Reproductive and developmental damage in animals Nervous and respiratory problems in humans. Report – Poison Underfoot (Hazardous Chemicals in PVC Flooring) by Greenpeace for the Healthy Flooring Network, Greenpeace Research Laboratories Technical Note, N: 14/00, 11/29/00, University of Exeter 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.

70 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. Report – Poison Underfoot (Hazardous Chemicals in PVC Flooring) by Greenpeace for the Healthy Flooring Network, Greenpeace Research Laboratories Technical Note, N: 14/00, 11/29/00, University of Exeter Chlorinated paraffins Possibly lead or tin compounds as stabilizers Also, Chlorinated paraffins and possibly lead or tin compounds as stabilizers

71 Flooring: Vinyl Tiles Pollutants
When there is a fire, the smoke could kill you before the fire does Healthy Flooring Network and Greenpeace Possibly lead or tin compounds as stabilizers Graphics - clipart

72 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.

73 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. Information - © COPYRIGHT ECO-FRIENDLY FLOORING 2003 Pictures – Forbo Flooring Please feel free to use our linoleum, cork and bambo photos from our web site on the Toxicity Reduction Institute web site. Please keep me posted on the status of the web site and if you have a link to our site. Good luck! Lisa DiMartino VP Marketing & Web Development Environmental Home Center Building Materials for Life

74 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 Graphic – Eco Friendly Flooring Information – Eco Friendly Flooring and web site Please feel free to use our information on the Toxicity Reduction Institute web site. Lisa DiMartino, VP Marketing & Web Development, Environmental Home Center, Building Materials for Life

75 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

76 Flooring: Cost Comparison Chart
Material Cost Per Square Foot – Uninstalled Should also consider lifecycle cost! Vinyl $ – 4.50 Linoleum $ 4.00 – 6.00 Ceramic Tile $ 2.00 – 8.00 Pre-finished & Unfinished Solid Wood $ 2.50 – 6.00 Pre-finished Engineered Wood $ 3.00 – 8.50 Laminate Flooring $ 2.00 – 5.00 Cork $ 6.80 – 9.75 Bamboo $ 3.00 – 7.00 Carpet $ – 5.00 The World! From FloorsFacts.com I added the information on the linoleum.

77 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

78 Adhesives: Product Alternatives
Epoxy adhesives are relatively nontoxic when fully cured. White glue (polyvinyl acetate) is safe when dry. Yellow carpenter’s 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 LR - Check this Reference: Prescriptions for a Healthy House, A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders and Homeowners – Baker Laporte, Elliot, and Banta, New Society Publishers, 2001

79 Caulk Problems* Alternative products 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. Problems references: Canada Environmental Choice Program, Environment Canada, from EPA Specifications Website **Healthy By Design - Tile - Silicone siliconized acrylic** Specs-

80 Purchasing Issues: Discussion
Product Availability Who carries it – stock item??? Special order issues – distribution time Cost Shipping Minimum orders Durability Liability Warranty

81 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

82 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.

83 Some Resources Toxics Use Reduction Institute Asthma Regional Council
EPA’s 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


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