The Signal: News and Notes from the Pharos Team
Researching products for Pharos is a privileged if at times depressing position. I learn how materials are made, and then I help to alert people to potential hazards about products they are considering buying. This knowledge comes in handy when I am doing my own shopping.
Last weekend, I opened my wife Eliza’s family camp in the Adirondacks. I noticed that the kitchen dish rack was deteriorating to the point that granular resins were rubbing off the surface. It was the end of that product’s service life.
When I went in search of a replacement, my inside knowledge kicked in. In Pharos, ingredients that trigger a purple flag in the Chemical and Material Library really get noticed. These chemicals devastate a product’s evaluation in Pharos.
One product type where we regularly encounter a purple flag chemical is acrylic paints. Some acrylic paints...
published 5/22/12 in Healthy Building News
The credibility of the US chemical industry has taken a beating in the press this month. But instead of apologizing, pledging to reform its ways, or disciplining a "few bad apples," for being caught lying red handed, the industry has doubled down and launched an all out attack on the US Green Building Council. The focus of the attack - modest amendments to the LEED Rating System, two voluntary credits that address the presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and other toxins in LEED-rated buildings.
To recap, during the week of May 6th, the Chicago Tribune published a four-part series documenting the collusion between US chemical companies and Big Tobacco...
In order for Pharos to provide users with the tools they need for material selection, our building product evaluations must be thorough and scorable.
Scorability means that we have determined there is enough information about the product’s composition to provide a solid evaluation of potential user exposures and manufacturing processes.
Ideally, the product’s manufacturer accomplishes scorability through complete material content disclosure. But many companies fail to do this: neither in Pharos, nor in public documents like material safety data sheets.
Pharos fills the information gap with original research. In depth research is our not-so-secret sauce for creating evaluations that meet stringent quality standards and user demand for identifying hazards.
Learn more about our leading-edge data collection methods at a webinar next Wednesday, May 23, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EDT).
We will show...
It worked well to delay tobacco legislation for decades. Why not for the chemical industry as well? The makers of halogenated flame retardant chemicals are turning to the same techniques and even some of the same experts that effectively postponed tobacco regulation. A Chicago Tribune investigative series this week exposes in shocking detail how the industry is using manipulated science and outright lies to throw uncertainty into the debate about the use of these toxic chemicals in furniture, insulation, electronics, baby gear and other building materials and consumer products.
These are potent hazardous chemicals. Hexabromocyclododecane or HBCDD, used widely in foam insulation, is a persistent, bioaccumulative toxicant targeted for elimination in the EU under REACH and...
In Columbia, Mississippi, there’s a wonderful restaurant called The Round Table. You, friends and strangers, sit around a massive lazy susan, upon which turns a vast selection of foods. Collard greens, baked potatoes, pimento cheesey things, fried chicken, creamed corn, and quavering bowls of jello whizz around the table until someone makes a choice.
If the spinning wheel were the marketplace of countertops, instead, you would see a lot of laminates and other plastic materials.
But how to choose? At The Round Table, you should sit beside someone with local knowledge to help you decide what to eat. In the commercial building marketplace, the Pharos Project helps you decide.
Today, Pharos opened a new category of building materials known as solid surfaces. These are polymeric materials, used in many applications, from countertops to bathroom fixtures to wall cladding.
In the countertops world,...