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PRO 5

A Survey of Chemical Risks in the Built Environment

John Gelder

This note, PRO 5, originally published in February 1996, was revised and re-written by John Gelder in February 2001.

Toxicity of materials is an issue which crops up at all stages of the building life cycle, beginning with materials extraction, and running through to use (the bulk of the building’s life), and eventual demolition. This Note is the second part of an introduction to the subject. It provides an overview of toxicity at different stages of the building life cycle. The examples offered are by no means comprehensive, nor are they examined in great depth. They are intended chiefly to get you thinking about a subject which has largely been ignored by designers, constructors, and even authorities.

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