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Tim_Montague | Posted in General Questions on

I’m a new member of GBA but have visited the site for years and much appreciate all the great green building content. Is there a section where info about IAQ and building health is collected? Energy is cheap and health is expensive. 


Tim Montague

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  1. Andrew_C | | #1

    IMO, GBA has made a decision to largely stay on the sidelines when specific claims are made wrt health. The primary reason, as I see it, is that there is a dearth of scientific studies (you know, real data, observations, statistical significance, etc) that definitively tie X amount of exposure to Y chemical and resulting in Z observed health results. Making claims for definitive health benefits when you can't point to supporting data is legally risky, aside from the moral issues. So it's avoided here.

    I'm not saying that exposure to chemicals is okay, or that we shouldn't try to minimize building components that contain (crap) before we ventilate to help get rid of the remnants. And I'm disappointed that the onus isn't on manufacturers to prove safety of their products prior to market introduction. These issues can be debated, but GBA tries to avoid contentious debates when there's little data to support the arguments. That's when the trolls get out of hand.


  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2
  3. ERIC WHETZEL | | #3

    During our build (, I found these resources to be helpful in terms of establishing and then holding onto IAQ during construction and then once we moved in:

    Luckily we were downsizing, so we didn't have to buy any new furniture, apart from a couple of new mattresses that we got here:

    I'm not aware of a good online resource for furniture brands free of formaldehyde and flame retardants (, combined with low or no VOC finishes, but maybe someone here could post a link(s). I'm sure there are brands out there pursuing this. I'm guessing there are also smaller, local furniture makers who would be interested in taking up the challenge as well.

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