Industry NewsNews Brief

Green builders honing in on indoor toxins

Building materials evaluated for potential health impacts

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In addition to the smog on the horizon searing our lungs, the sun's ultraviolet rays baking our skin, and the distracted driver bearing down on us as we cross the street, we can add to our list of potential health concerns the walls, flooring, pipes and other components of the buildings we live, work and play in. As the post-industrial era deepens, maybe we should start wearing hazmat suits.According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. While we might think we're safer inside, building materials, which don't currently have ingredients lists, are getting more complex -- and sometimes more toxic -- all the time. Indoor environments are a growing health concern.  Asbestos removal worker via Shutterstock.Health concerns about our indoor environment are nothing new. Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral once widely employed by the building industry because of its insulating and fire-retarding properties, has b...