December 2009

Volume 18, Number 12

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Perkins + Will Lists Chemicals to Avoid

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With over 1,000 design professionals and many high-profile green projects to its name, Perkins + Will is recognized as a leader in the green building industry. Now it is using that leadership position to influence the way designers think about chemicals in building materials with the launch of the Perkins + Will Precautionary List.

Available free online, the list assembles pertinent facts about chemicals that the firm wishes to avoid because of health and environmental concerns. Chemical names, health impacts, prevalence in building products, and regulatory actions worldwide are available for each chemical and organized alphabetically, by CSI division, by health effects, and by category (such as indoor air quality or ozone depletion). The list is available at

Comments (2)

1 Chemicals in the workspace ai posted by Michael Prothe on 03/03/2010 at 03:45 pm

This is an ongoing issue I have endeavored to research, and expand the knowledge base for. I developed allergic sensitivities due to reactions from Dilantin and Tegrotol (Seizure disorder medicines) in 1992. I go into anaphylaxis (closing of the throat passage) with: Tobacco Smoke Combinations of Formaldehyde carrots spinach nutrasweet.

I suffered severe reactions in the workspace from 2004-2007 until the building was cleaned from various contaminants and the air handling system was improved. The elevated floor plenum tested to 63 times above EPA action level for lead. Now, more recently, I experienced 4 anaphylaxis reactions to a newer renovated office space which has required me to relocate. The CO2 tested at up to nearly 1200 ppm. The formaldeyde content is high, but well within the range allowed by current OSHA standards, thus the State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF) denied my claim and I am in process for seeking accomodations through the Americans with Disability Act. My sensitivities are not within normal ranges. However, many employees continue to experience watery eyes, and migraine headaches. Although the city of Portland Oregon has a green tenant improvement policy, it was ignored in this instant. I am in process with further testing through a local allergy immunologist and review through my doctor. What additional information can those of you possibly provide. If you would like, you may contact me and request the complete air quality tests made of this workspace to date for futher review. Sincerely, Michael Prothe

2 follow up excerpt on air qual posted by Michael Prothe on 03/03/2010 at 03:55 pm

To further clarify from an excerpt of the air quality test in the space which I am affected by, the following was detected:TVOC 0.110 up to .094 ppm 4 PCH not detectedFormaldehyde: .013 - .014 ppm

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December 1, 2009