WHY HEALTHY MATERIALS?
Living Building Challenge
The statistics provided the US Environmental Protection Agency [USEPA] indicate that Americans spend 90% of their time indoors exposed to interior environmental conditions of buildings. The US EPA has also found concentrations of indoor pollutants at levels two to five times higher than typical outdoor levels. Furthermore, there is a growing body of scientific evidence indicating that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Headaches, dizziness, fatigue, respiratory ailments, heart disease, and cancer have all been linked to indoor air pollution.
There are many sources of indoor pollution, but often the materials used to make buildings are the root of the problem. It is these statistics and research findings, along with the increasing amount of scientific evidence from national governmental and non-governmental organizations that should raise a red flag for the design community to step back and say: we have a responsibility to the best of our ability to seek out and advocate for healthier, less harmful materials, and for manufactures to be transparent about material ingredients.