Building material made healthier

Construction Specialties (CS), a manufacturer of architectural products, announced that its CS Acrovyn® 4000 line of interior wall protection products received GOLD Cradle to Cradle® certification, ensuring customers that material choices and production processes have been reviewed for their impact on human and environmental health, and persistent bioacummulative toxins (PBT) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) have been completely eliminated from the product and the manufacturing process.

The Cradle to Cradle GOLD certification, administered by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) is the culmination of 15 years of refinement of CS’s manufacturing process, beginning with identifying and reducing hazardous chemicals used in finishing processes, to the full shift from reduction to elimination of chemicals of concern on a micro level.

Cradle to Cradle certification evaluates a product’s design for future life cycles, safety to humans and the environment. Unlike single-attribute eco-labels, MBDC’s certification program takes a comprehensive approach to evaluating the sustainability of a product and its manufacturing practices through assessments in five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship and social responsibility.

“There is a growing urgency around disclosure of the contents of building products, and at CS we have chosen to reveal every component of our product line down to parts per million. We hope this precedent challenges both manufacturers and building owners to be part of the solution bringing forth healthier building practices,” said Howard Williams, vice president of Construction Specialties.

PVC is one of the most common synthetic materials and appears in thousands of different formulations and configurations. Over 14 billion pounds of PVC are currently produced per year in North America and approximately 75 percent of all PVC manufactured is used in construction materials.

According to the Healthy Building Network, PVC is the worst plastic from an environmental health perspective, posing major hazards in its manufacture, product life and disposal. Carcinogens are unavoidably created in the production of PVC and can cause severe health problems.