Beck Asks Manufacturers to Release HPDs

  • Feb 6, 2015

The EPA estimates that people spend nearly 90 percent of their time indoors. It is clear that the indoor environment contributes to occupants’ health and well-being.

That’s why we believe it’s important for architects, designers and builders to think beyond the aesthetic and functional performance of the building materials they specify and install. They should concern themselves with the implications of these materials through their entire life-cycle,  from the extraction of raw materials to manufacturing to end use to the end of the product’s life.

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) examine the environmental life-cycle burden, however they do not account for human health impacts of the material. Most building materials are synthetic, chemically processed or treated, and contain a host of toxic chemicals that are not tested.

It is difficult to find out what is in those materials so that we can make more informed choices as we design and build healthier buildings. This calls for radical transparency among manufacturers to disclose the ingredients in the products they offer to the building industry.

Health Product Declarations (HPD) are one way to push for transparency.  HPD is the first industry-wide open standard for the disclosure of chemicals and health-related hazards in building materials.  We believe this industry focus will lead to market transformation. Many manufacturers have already changed the chemical make-up of their products to eliminate ingredients that are known health hazards.

To read our letter to manufacturers, urging them to fully disclose  chemical contents and health hazard information, please click here.