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Re: GBlist: Plastic

Hi Jorg
No responses. I have accumulated a lot of material on pollution from
manufacturing processes but very little on outgassing or migration of
chemical from products in end use situations. I am trying to develop a
model to use to limit the amount of plastic we incorporate into our
designs and buildings and to do that I need to know and be able to
communicate to clients what the problems are and be able to present them
with alternatives.

 My initital task was to eliminate all pvc based material from anything
to do with water in a house system (while continuing to look at the
whole water system from a 'planetary health' perspective). I've decided
to backtrack and refine my model for water usage maybe redefine the
basic componenets of the supply/waste system, reduce the amount of
material involved for each function and then look at what that material
can be made of. My basic suspicion is that with reduced overall
consumption, reduced pressure standards, better applied hydraulics with
segregated waste streams the systems could use far less material to the
same end and perhaps the cost of a healthier application would remain
within the status quo. I like your notion of contacting the competition
perhaps they might find a use for all that thin walled copper they
manufactured by mistake.
Thanks, John

Jorg Ostrowski wrote:
> John: Further to your note of below, did you ever get any worthwhile
> responses to this very important issue? If not, why not try the
> competition (ie. copper & cast iron companies)?
> __________________________________________________________
> Jorg Ostrowski,  M. Arch. A.S. (MIT), B. Arch. (Toronto), Ecotect
>  in full-time professional practice since 1976 (Straw Bale since
> 1978),
>  3 demonstration projects in Canada built 1979, 1981, 1994, +80,000
> visitors
>  - living a conserver lifestyle & working in a sustainable home and
> office
> Web Site [under construction]:
> http://www.ucalgary.ca/~jdo/ecotecture.htm
> _____________________________________________________________
> On Tue, 13 May 1997, John Salmen wrote:
> >
> > I am still searching for information on toxicity of plastic
> especially
> > in potable water systems. I came upon some references(attached)
> about
> > flame retardants used in plastics and am wondering if anyone is
> familiar
> > with how extensive their usage might be in building components and
> what
> > the mechanism for absorption might be.
> >
> > John Salmen
> > terrain@seaside.net
> >
> > May 26,1996
> > Svenska Dagbladet, (conservative daily newspaper) reports that
> > several types of flame retardants are as dangerous as the
> > prohibited PCB and DDT.
> > Flame retardants are used in everything from computers to
> > textiles and they are increasingly being distributed in the
> > environment. Like PCB, flame retardants are found in seals in
> > Svalbard, in fish and fisheating birds in the Baltic and now
> > new analysis have found flame retardants in human blood.
> > Scientists fear that reproduction will be affected.
> > Up to 30 percent of the plastic casing in a computer or TV can
> > consist of flame retardants. A group of flame retardants, PBDE
> > are almost identical in their chemical structure to PCB which
> > binds to the thyroid gland which regulates many functions such
> > as behaviour, hunger, if one feels cold or warm, explains
> > professor Aake Bergman, professor of environmental chemsitry at
> > the University of Stockholm. We now have indications from
> > Holland that flame retardants bind in the same way as PCB does.
> >
> >
> > The TCO newspaper reports:
> > Siemens Nixdorf advertized that their computers did not contain
> > flame retardants. The article describes how the company had to
> > back down as it was discovered that they did indeed contain
> > flame retardants.
> > The article mentions that some manufacturers have received the
> > TCO95 cetrificate because their outside plastic casings on the
> > computers do not contain flame retardants. But inside, the
> > microchips still contain flame retardants. There is no
> > commercial alternative.
> > Most microchips these days contain a flame retardant
> > TBBA(tetra-bromide-bis-phenol A). The newspaper asked Conny
> > Oestman at the Work Life Institute about the dangers of long
> > term exposure. He replied: We know that TBBA is released in
> > small doses. It is bound in plastics, but a certain amount of
> > molecules can be outside the plastic. TBBA can also be absorbed
> > by blood and tissues and is broken down, very slowly. Swedish
> > scientists have found it in electrically sensitive individuals.
> > These chemicals are fat soluble and can be accumulated in the
> > body. This means that one can build up a high  concentration in
> > the body even though the levels of exposure, are very low.
> > __________________________________________________________________
> > This greenbuilding dialogue is sponsored by Oikos (www.oikos.com)
> > and Environmental Building News (www.ebuild.com). For instructions
> > send e-mail to greenbuilding-request@crest.org.
> > __________________________________________________________________
> >
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