The Pink and the Blue

The Pink and the Blue

Is Owens Corning’s entry into formaldehyde-free products timely or tardy?

How do you know when health concerns about chemicals emitted from interior building and decorating products are valid? How about when the company whose Pink Panther is synonymous with “industry leader in insulation” finally comes out with a formaldehyde-free product – years after it had the capability to do so?

Owens Corning Eco Touch™ Fiberglas™ insulation is still pink, but its PureFiber™ binder – made from plant materials – means it is formaldehyde-free. If you haven’t routinely looked for or researched green products that are indoor-air friendly, you might think this is a cutting-edge option with no competition when you see it on the rack at the big-box store.

But Owens Corning would not have taken this step if it did not know there was a market for it, and it did not want to take business away from the pioneers who have been offering planet- and indoor-air friendly insulation for years.

The most visible is UltraTouch from Bonded Logic, which makes insulation from post-consumer blue jeans, and other insulating products from post-industrial denim. No harmful chemicals are used in manufacturing, so this product does not emit chemicals that can pollute your indoor air. Bonded Logic has led this industry for the past decade, has distributors nationwide.

Owens Corning began in January converting its traditional fiberglass insulation, produced with a phenol formaldehyde binder, to the PureFiber™ technology. EcoTouch™ is made with more pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled content than the company’s regular fiberglass insulation. EcoTouch™ also has GREENGUARD Children & Schools indoor air quality certification. And the company notes that the formaldehyde content in its regular insulation is low – 0.0135 p.p.m. – and, therefore, within the limits of stringent emission limits.

— Nancy Kibbee is editor at www.naturalinteriors.com

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