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Report Available on Asthmagens and Asthma Triggers in the Built Environment

Perkins+Will released a new report examining the detrimental impact of building materials and products on asthma. The report, Healthy Environments: A Compilation of Substances Linked to Asthma, identifies 374 substances commonly found in the built environment that are known or suspected asthmagens. The report was inspired by the designers of a children’s health clinic that wanted to create an asthma-free environment.

The report was published in hopes of raising awareness of the connection between health and buildings, while identifying existing sources of information so that healthy buildings will result. Also included is detailed information on the occupations and industries that come into the most contact with these potentially hazardous materials. The report’s findings were compiled from an analysis of eight lists of published research from both academic and government sources.

“We are glad to highlight the lurking public health threat of asthmagens in the built environment,” said Peter Syrett, leader of sustainability efforts at Perkins+Will’s New York office. “This report complements Perkins+Will’s Precautionary List and Transparency website in educating the public on the potentially harmful impact of buildings on the environment and human health.”

Among the indoor substances and objects linked to asthma are building materials and furnishings; household cleaning, personal care, and hobby products; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices.

According to the report, it’s estimated that 23 million Americans suffer from asthma, with 7.1 million being children. The report, part of Perkins+Will’s Transparency initiative, can be found at: transparency.perkinswill.com/assets/whitepapers/NIH_AsthmaReport_2012.pdf.

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Posted December 3, 2012

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