As concern for material safety rises, many organizations have created material lists, databases, and resources to equip the industry to make better, more informed choices.
The Red List is a resource specifically geared toward the building industry with the purpose of warning against the most toxic chemicals commonly used in building materials today. It contains 10,000 different chemicals grouped in 19 classes.9
Both the Red List and Watch List affirm the precautionary principle – originating at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The principle argues that in the presence of threat or risk of serious damage, we should not use lack of scientific certainty to avoid taking action to prevent that damage.7 We must take precaution and not wait for regulations and policies to protect our health.11
ILFI is promoting and aligning their work with the precautionary principle in the creation of these lists, emphasizing their role as tools for advocacy. ILFI plays an important part in representing the collective knowledge of the industry in a unified and aligned voice to engage and influence regulators, policy makers, industry representatives and community partners and drive much needed change.5
When specifying materials, start with the Declare Database, Red-List free filter. Begin by switching out one manufacturer at a time to familiarize yourself with pricing and performance. Continue switching out more materials over time and make it a practice!
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