News
Air Pollution

Vinyl Chloride Haunts East Palestine

One year after a train derailment contaminated the town of East Palestine, Ohio, with over a million pounds of toxic vinyl chloride, consequences of the disaster continue to impact the community of over 4,500 residents… more

Microplastics

Plastic Pipes, Microplastics & Impacts on Human Health

Research identifies plastic pipes as a significant source of microplastics & nanoplastics in potable water systems. Both PVC and PE pipes crack and peel “relatively quickly” as they age, releasing plastic particles. When people ingest the particles flaking from plastic pipes, it increases their exposure to plastic pollution… more

Environmental Impact

How AEC Design Choices Can Protect Health

Safe Piping Matters recently spoke with Anjanette Green, Senior Director of Product Transformation for the Healthy Building Network, about Informed, an impressive new platform to help project teams identify healthier building products, including the design and specification of plumbing systems… more

Air Pollution

Risks to East Palestine Piping from Vinyl Chloride Spill

In February 2023, over 1 million pounds of carcinogenic vinyl chloride fouled the air, soil, & water of East Palestine OH. Contamination remains a serious concern despite declarations of safety. Safe Piping Matters calls for officials to recommend that families take measures to protect themselves… more

Fire Safety

Firestopping Pipe Penetrations: Materials, Issues & Recommendations

This report reviews issues related to firestopping assemblies for various plastic piping materials including polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polyethylene (PE), & crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) plastic, as well as non-combustible piping materials such as copper, iron, & steel… more

Fire Safety

Safe Piping Matters Launches AIA Course

Based on the findings from our Plumbing Specification Guide, this AIA course explains how the characteristics of materials used for drinking water, wastewater, and fire-suppression systems impact the health, safety, and sustainability of buildings. eligible for HSW credit. … more

Fire Safety

Evaluating Plastic Pipes: Combustibility & Toxicity

Engineers and architects use plastic pipe for many critical systems – including drain, waste, and vent (DWV), water distribution, fire suppression sprinklers, and other applications – across a wide variety of building types. These systems are installed throughout structures, making it essential to understand how they will perform during fire incidents. This report examines fire safety aspects of plastic piping materials, including one of the most commonly used, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), through a review of relevant research… more

Environmental Impact

Sustainability Characteristics of Piping Materials

Contractors, engineers, & manufacturers raised great questions after our presentation to the invite-only BSS Conference at Wembley Stadium in London. We focused on two important issues that don’t always get the focus they deserve: sustainability & fire safety… more

Plastic Waste

Why Plastic Recycling is a Fail: It’s the Material

While it may be easy to produce, plastic building materials represent the antithesis of circularity and sustainability. Companies engineer these materials to be flexible, lightweight, and cheap to produce. They are in no way designed to be recycled, however. … more

Leaching

Red Hill Update: Questions Remain

Recent contamination of water systems by jet fuel leaking from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage facility in Hawaii illustrates again the importance of safe drinking water and of the piping that delivers it.

Many questions remain about this incident, including one that has been largely ignored to date: How will the Navy and local officials repair or replace pipes impacted by chemicals released into the system… more

Plastic Waste

The Lie of Plastic Recycling

The Lie of Plastic Recycling Bloomberg investigative reporter Kit Chellel put two trackers inside pieces of plastic and deposited them in recycling bins at 3 Tesco locations in the UK. The linked… more

Health & Safety

Limiting Legionella in Piping Systems

Limiting Legionella in Building Water Systems New Techniques to Gauge & Limit Risk Cases of Legionnaires disease (a form of pneumonia) and Pontiac fever (a flu-like illness) continue to increase, according to… more

Microplastics

Plastic Particles Found in Human Blood

Plastic Particles Found in Human Blood A Dutch team from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has published a study showing plastic particles can enter and circulate in human bloodstreams. The researchers found plastics in… more

Leaching

Red Hill Water Contamination: Piping Issues for Victims​

Fuel from the Red Hill Naval facility on Oahu, Hawaii, leaked into a water system servicing over 90,000 residents in November 2021. As the situation evolves, Safe Piping Matters is sharing developments along with recommendations based on research studies and lessons learned from previous contamination events… more

Plastic Waste

Extended Producer Responsibility: A Problem for Plastics

Companies cannot continue ignoring the full impacts of the goods they produce, including depletion of unrenewable materials and pollution of the environment. Extended producer responsibility (EPR) considers these previously untracked financial and environmental costs and seeks to establish systems that will pay for them. Plastic has emerged as a prime focus of EPR initiatives. Here’s why…… more