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Know Your Building Materials

Introduced two weeks ago by the New York Times, we're here today linking it up for those who missed it: thanks to the tireless data-gathering of architect Peter Syrett and interior designer Chris Youssef of Perkins + Will, the world finally has a simple, no-nonsense catalog of the toxicity of building materials. The pair's interest in compiling the resource stems from their work designing a Brooklyn cancer center. Somehow, it just seemed natural to try and keep carcinogens away from a cancer center. The catalog lists materials in groups like "Asthma Triggers" and "Flame Retardants" and links them up with their component substances and those substances' proven or suspected effects on health. Armed with such a database, there shouldn't be any more excuses for making the wrong choices in construction. Except for cost, that is. [NY Times]