Are Chemicals Poisoning Your Perfect Designs? Test Your Knowledge of Building Product Hazards
Take our quiz to find out how much you really know about VOCs, lead, toxic flame retardants, and other common hazards in building materials.
Photo Credit: Reena Rose Sibayan, NJ.com
Food, toys, furniture, building products—just about everything around us—can contain chemicals that will make us very sick or even kill us if we are exposed at a certain level over a long period of time. Sometimes it seems like there’s some new killer substance in our homes, schools, and offices almost every day of the week.
But news stories about these products usually provide little or no context to help people understand when they may truly be in danger.
A lot of people, overwhelmed by the constant scares and unclear on which products are actually hazardous, give up on keeping track of everything that might poison them.
Building industry professionals don’t have that luxury.
Clients are paying attention, but they need your help
Knowing which building materials and products are likely to contain which toxic substances—and knowing when to minimize use of those materials or find less-toxic alternatives—comes with the territory. And the need for this knowledge is not just confined to the green building world anymore.
A recent Chicago Tribune exposé brought to light chemical industry deceptions that for decades have encouraged the pointless overuse of highly toxic flame retardants, raising awareness of this issue in the mainstream national press for the first time.
The Obama administration just made headlines for working to improve both indoor and outdoor air quality to reduce rampant asthma rates among low-income minority children.
And The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4 rating system is moving toward a greater emphasis on chemicals of concern, creating a strong new incentive for chemical avoidance.
Will you be able to answer their questions?
As awareness of toxicity and the built environment becomes more mainstream, a thorough and up-to-date understanding will be in higher and higher demand. Are you keeping up? Do you know how to protect your clients—whether they ask for it explicitly or not?
Take our short quiz and find out. And no Googling, please!
We’ll publish the answers—and let you know how you did—in a blog post next week.
Posted by Paula Melton on July 7, 2012
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