FAQ’s

FAQ’s : Green Terminology

 

Green Textile Terms begin with ‘A’

acid rain

The release of materials which have been transformed by chemical processes in the atmosphere and are then deposited on earth through rain, sleet or fog. These materials can cause damage to buildings and harm terrestrial, animal, plant and human health.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

algae toxicity

Several genera and species of green algae found in lakes, ponds and streams that are responsible for both aquatic oxygen balance and food
SOURCEs for fish are tested for their reaction to chemical exposure. Chemicals that kill algae are considered dangerous.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

ANSI facilitates the development of American National Standards (ANS) by accrediting the procedures of standards developing organizations (SDOs). These groups work cooperatively to develop voluntary national consensus standards like NSF/ANSI 336, the Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : American National Standards Institute

antimony

A silvery-white metal found in the earth’s crust; frequently alloyed with lead to increase its hardness and strength. When combined with oxygen, it produces antimony trioxide.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

antimony trioxide

A compound used as a fire retardant and as a catalyst to manufacture PET (polyethylene terephthalate.) It is a suspected human carcinogen.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

aquatic toxicity

The use or release of substances that have a toxic impact on aquatic species.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Association for Contract Textiles (ACT)

The Association for Contract Textiles is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1985. ACT is a professional trade group consisting primarily of companies that design, develop, produce and promote textiles for commercial interiors united for support, strength, credibility and common interests.

CATEGORY : Fiber, Green, Weave
SOURCE : ACT

bamboo – natural (natural bamboo)

A fiber that is produced from original bamboo fibers and maintains all the original qualities inherent in bamboo. It is very similar to linen both in molecular structure and fiber characteristics.

CATEGORY : Fiber, Green
SOURCE : Brentano, Inc.

bioaccumulation

The process by which substances are stored and accumulated in the tissue or organs of humans or animals.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

biobased product

A commercial or industrial product (other than food or feed) that utilizes biological products or renewable domestic agricultural (plant, animal and marine) or forestry materials.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)

When a body of wastewater contains too much biological material, the bacteria and other microorganisms in it cannot successfully decompose all the organic matter for food, growth and energy. This breaking down of the biological material requires oxygen; therefore, by measuring the amount of oxygen that is depleted from the sample as a result of such bacterial action, the balance within the aquatic environment can be measured. The BOD is a standard test, which takes five days to run, and is performed by introducing a population of bacteria and microorganisms to attempt to duplicate what would happen in a natural stream. The most commonly used method to estimate the total quantity of biodegradable organic material in wastewater. Compare to Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

bioconcentration factor (BCF)

A measure of the tendency for a chemical to accumulate. The ratio of the concentration of a substance in a living organism (mg/kg) to the concentration of that substance in the surrounding environment (mg/l for aquatic systems).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

biodegradable

Exhibiting the capability of being broken down (or decomposed or metabolized) by microorganisms and reduced to organic or inorganic molecules which can be further utilized by living systems.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

biodegradation

The process by which a substance or material is broken down (or decomposed) by microorganisms and reduced to organic or inorganic molecules that can be further utilized by living systems. Biodegradation can be aerobic, if oxygen is present, or anaerobic, if no oxygen is present.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

biological metabolism

The natural processes of ecosystems are a biological metabolism, making safe and healthy use of materials in cycles of abundance

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

biological nutrient

A biodegradable material posing no immediate or eventual hazard to living systems that can be used for human purposes and can safely return to the environment to feed environmental processes.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

by-product

Anything produced in an industrial or biological process in addition to the principal product; a secondary and sometimes unexpected or unintended result.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

California Environmental Re
SOURCEs Evaluation System (CERES)

An information system developed by the California Re
SOURCEs Agency to facilitate access to a variety of electronic data describing California’s diverse environments.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

carcinogen- probable

A known animal carcinogen, but carcinogenicity in humans has not been definitely proven (MAK 2 or TLV A2 or IARC Group 2A).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

carcinogen-known

A causal relationship has been established between exposure to the agent and human cancer (MAK 1 or TLV A1 or IARC Group 1).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

carcinogen-possible

A known animal carcinogen, but evidence of carcinogenicity in humans is non-existent, or there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and insufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animals (MAK 3 or TLV A3 or IARC Group 2B)

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Chemical Abstract Service number (CAS number)

A number uniquely identifying each pure chemical compound.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)

When a body of wastewater contains too much biological material, the bacteria and other microorganisms in it cannot successfully decompose all the organic matter for food, growth and energy. This breaking down of the biological material requires oxygen; therefore, by measuring the amount of oxygen that is depleted from the sample as a result of such bacterial action, the balance within the aquatic environment can be measured. Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) is a test that adds a strong chemical oxidizing agent to the wastewater sample in order to estimate the result of bacterial action. Although it is completely artificial, it is considered to yield a result that may be used as the basis on which to calculate a reasonably accurate and reproducible estimate of the oxygen-demanding properties of a wastewater. The COD’s advantages (compared to the BOD test) are that it takes under three hours for completion and is not subject to the interference from toxic materials that can affect the results of the BOD. Both of these are standard tests for estimating the health of an aquatic environment.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)

A compound consisting of chlorine, fluorine and carbon. CFCs are very stable in the troposphere. CFCs are commonly used as refrigerants, solvents and foam-blowing agents; uses of CFCs in aerosols are prohibited due to ozone depleting potential.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

chromium

Chromium is a steely-gray chemical element that has a high melting point and is often used in dyes, paints, and tanning of leather. It has an acute toxicity that can lead to organ failure in humans and it is also a carcinogen.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : Wikipedia

Clean Air Act (CAA)

The federal statute that regulates air emissions from area, stationary and mobile
SOURCEs. This law authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and the environment.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Clean Water Act

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, as amended in 1977, became commonly known as the Clean Water Act. The act established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Clearance Time (CT )

The CT indicates the time needed to eliminate or biodegrade a substance to a certain percentage in an organism. For example, the CT50 indicates the time needed to eliminate 50% of a certain substance, analogous to the half-life time measure t1/2.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

climatic relevance

A measure of the climate influencing characteristics of a substance. All compounds that contribute to global warming are listed here. Examples include carbon dioxide, methane, CFCs and sulfur hexafluoride.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

closed loop

A type of manufacturing process that utilizes a cyclical material flow in order to minimize waste.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

compostable

Possessing the ability to break down into, or otherwise become part of, usable compost (e.g., soil-conditioning material, mulch) in a safe and timely manner.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : www.ftc.govos/1998/9804/63fr24240.pdf

Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)<//p>

A 1980 federal statute that created the Superfund program and established a trust fund for the cleanup of abandoned and uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossaryr24240.pdf

content of halogenated organic

The column in the periodic chart of the elements that begins with Fluorine contains the halogens. These elements, when combined with organic compounds, form halogenated organic compounds. Most of these compounds are toxic, carcinogenic, persistent, ozone

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)

The Council on Environmental Quality coordinates federal environmental efforts. CEQ reports annually to the President on the state of the environment; oversees federal agency implementation of the environmental impact assessment process; and acts as a referee when agencies disagree over the adequacy of such assessments.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : The White House Website

Cradle to Cradle (C2C)

A term used in life-cycle analysis to describe a material or product that is recycled into a new product at the end of its defined life.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Cradle to Cradle Design

Cradle-to-Cradle Design is ACT Glossary‘s design paradigm, based on principles and an understanding of the pursuit of value, as well as ACT Glossary’s processes for product and material research and development, and for educating and training. At a fundamental level, the new paradigm proposes that human design can learn from nature to be effective, safe, enriching and delightful. Cradle-to-Cradle Design models human industry on nature’s processes, in which materials are viewed as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms. Industry must protect and enrich ecosystems — nature’s biological metabolism — while also maintaining safe, productive technical metabolism for the high-quality use and circulation of mineral, synthetic and other materials.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Cradle to Cradle Protocol

A scientifically based, peer reviewed process used to assess and optimize materials used in products and production processes in order to maximize health, safety, effectiveness and high quality reutilization over many product life-cycles.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

criteria air pollutants

The six substances (ozone, lead, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide) used as indicators of air quality; the EPA has established a maximum concentration for each above which human health may be adversely affected.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Daphnia toxicity

Water fleas of the genus Daphnia can be found in most ponds and streams. They feed upon microscopic particles of organic matter and are in turn food for fish and other aquatic organisms. Daphnia Toxicity is a measure of a substance’s toxicity when consumed by these water fleas. A common measuring tool for Daphnia Toxicity is EC50 (“effective concentration”), which is the concentration of a substance in the water required to immobilize 50 percent of the test animals. If EC50<10> mgliter, the substance is named Daphnia Toxic.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Department of Transportation Hazardous Material (DOT)

Materials that have been designated by the DOT to pose an unreasonable risk to human health, safety and/or property when transported.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

design for disassembly

Designing a product to be dismantled for easier maintenance, repair, recovery and reuse of components and materials.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Dioctyl Phthalate (DOP)

The most widely used plasticisers, primarily to make soft and flexible PVC for applications in the automotive, construction, textile, and medical industries. Can cause birth defects and cancer, based on animal test data.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : Chemicalland21.com

downcycling

The practice of recycling a material in such a way that much of its inherent value is lost (for example, recycling plastic into park benches).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

eco-effectiveness

MBDC’s strategy for designing human industry that is safe, profitable and regenerative, producing economic, ecological and social value.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

eco-efficiency

The ability to produce and deliver desirable, competitively priced goods and services while progressively reducing the ecological impacts of these actions; Coined in 1992 by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development WBCSD.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

ecological intelligence

A product or process designed to embody the intelligence of natural systems (such as nutrient cycling, interdependence, abundance, diversity, solar power, regeneration).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Effect Concentration 50 (EC50 )

The median exposure concentration (EC50) is the median concentration of a substance that causes some effect in 50 percent of the test animals.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

embodied energy

The total quantity of mass of materials required to produce, recycle or dispose of raw material and products.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA)

The federal statute (of 1986) that is the third part of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, also known as SARA Title III. This law requires facilities to report the chemicals that they store, established the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and the Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) and led to the adoption of the OSHA HAZWOPER standard.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3)

A voluntary rating system for textile factories developed by The American Textile Manufacturers Institute.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

endocrine disruptors

A substance that mimics, blocks or interferes with hormones and their production, metabolism and excretion causing malfunction of the endocrine system, which can lead to malfunction of the reproductive, nervous and immune systems.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Enviro-Mark

Enviro-Mark was developed in the United Kingdom to provide an Environmental Management System (EMS) accessible to all organizations. Enviro-Mark provides businesses with a framework to systematically assess their performance against agreed standards. Their are five standards, and achievement of each is verified by an external audit.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : Landcare Research

environment

The complex of physical, chemical and biotic factors (such as climate, soil and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

Federal laws and regulations (including NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969) require the federal government to evaluate effects of its actions on the environment and to consider alternative courses of action. An EIS is the required document that describes the positive and negative impacts on the environment as a result of a proposed action, impacts of alternatives and ways to mitigate the impacts. The Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations stipulates the recommended format and content of Environmental Impact Statements.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Environmental Management System (EMS)

An industry-developed and driven management structure that prioritizes compliance with environmental policy objectives and targets effective implementation of environmentally-focused procedures; a key feature of an EMS is the preparation of documented systems, procedures and instructions to ensure effective communication and continuity of such implementation. ISO 14001 specifies the actual requirements for an EMS standard and is the most widely recognized system of this type.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The U.S. federal agency established in July of 1970 to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment, air, water and land upon which life depends; works closely with other federal agencies, state and local governments and Indian tribes to develop and enforce regulations under existing environmental laws; provides leadership in the nation’s environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts; and is responsible for researching and setting national standards for a variety of environmental programs and delegates to states and tribes; responsible for issuing permits, and monitoring and enforcing compliance.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA)

Founded by Michael Braungart in 1987. The Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency applies Cradle to Cradle methodology to design of new processes, products and services. Headquarters are located in Hamburg, Germany.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

environmentally preferable

Products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance or disposal of the product or service.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

European Eco-Label (EU-Eco )

A labeling system using a flower symbol to designate products that have been checked by independent bodies and certified compliant with strict ecological and performance criteria.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : www.eco-label.com

eutraphication

Excessive growth of algal blooms in streams, lakes and other waterways due to the addition of excessive amounts of plant nutrients (primarily phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon), which often results from fertilizer runoff and the addition of untreated sewage to waterways; causes the depletion of oxygen from the water and, in turn, kills the fish and other oxygen-dependent organisms that live in the water.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS)

Any one of over 366 hazardous chemicals on a list compiled by the EPA to provide a focus for state and local emergency planning.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The U.S. federal agency with regulatory and enforcement authority directed towards stopping actions that threaten consumers’ opportunities to exercise informed choices.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Fish Toxicity

Several Genera and Species of fish found in lakes, ponds and streams that are part of the food chain are tested for their reaction to chemical exposure. Chemicals that kill fish are considered dangerous to aquatic eco-systems due to the possible food chain effects and food
SOURCE depletion. Fish Toxicity is a measure of a substance’s toxicity when consumed by these various types of fish. A common measuring tool is LC50 (“lethal concentration”), which is the concentration of a substance in the water required to kill fifty (50) percent of the fish test population. If LC50 < 10 mg/L, the substance is considered fish toxic.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a multi-stakeholder process and independent institution whose mission is to develop and disseminate globally applicable Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Global Warming Potential (GWP)

A scale used to relate a compound to the CO2 equivalents to measure the potential heating effects on the atmosphere.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

green

An adjective used to describe something that is perceived to be beneficial to the environment.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

GREENGUARD™

A certification and labeling program for interior products and building materials in reference to indoor air quality.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

greenhouse gas (GHG)

Certain gases (including water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone and several classes of halogenated carbons that contain fluorine, chlorine and bromine) that allow solar radiation to reach Earth’s surface and become absorbed, yet trap thermal radiation leaving the earth’s surface. Outgoing thermal radiation absorbed by these gases heats the atmosphere. The atmosphere then emits thermal radiation both outward into space and downward to Earth, further warming the surface.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

GreenShield®

A topical stain resistant finish that utilizes 7-10 times fewer fluorocarbons than similar finishes and releases no VOC emissions. The technology is based on amorphous silica nanoparticles that permanently adhere to a fabric in a mesh network that prevents particles from becoming airborne.

CATEGORY : Finish, Green
SOURCE : GreenShield®

Half-Life

The amount of time it takes half of an initial concentration of substance to degrade in the environment.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP)

Those pollutants that cause or may cause cancer, other serious health effects (such as reproductive effects or birth defects) or adverse environmental and ecological effects. The EPA is required to control 188 HAPs including dioxin; asbestos; toluene; metals such as cadmium, mercury, chromium and lead; benzene, which is found in gasoline; perchlorethlyene, which is emitted from some dry cleaning facilities; and methylene chloride, which is used as a solvent and paint stripper by a number of industries. Also known as toxic air pollutants.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

hazardous material

Any material or substance, which if improperly handled or disposed of, can cause harm to the health and well-being of humans or the environment.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

hazardous substance

Defined by the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) as a substance, which has the potential, through being used at work, to harm the health or safety of persons in the workplace. (A hazardous substance is, essentially, a hazardous material, but NOHSC uses the term substance.)

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

hazardous waste

Defined by RCRA as any waste that exhibits specific hazardous characteristics such as ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

heavy metals

Any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic at low concentrations. (Examples are mercury, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, thallium and lead). Semi-metallic elements (such as antimony, arsenic, selenium and tellurium) are often included in this classification.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)

A compound that consists of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine and carbon. The HCFCs are a class of replacements for CFCs. They contain chlorine and thus deplete stratospheric ozone, but to a much lesser extent than CFCs. Production of HCFCs are currently being phased out of production.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)

A compound that consist of hydrogen, fluorine and carbon. The HFCs are a class of replacements for CFCs. Because they do not contain chlorine or bromine, they do not deplete the ozone layer.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

indoor air pollution

Chemical, physical or biological contaminants in indoor air.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

industrial ecology

An interdisciplinary framework for designing and operating industrial systems as living systems interdependent with natural systems.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

International Oeko-Tex Association (Oeko-Tex)

Founded in 1992, the International Oeko-Tex Association provides uniform, scientifically founded evaluation standards for the human ecological safety of textiles.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : Oeko-Tex Association

International Standards Organization (ISO)

A non-governmental organization located in Geneva, Switzerland, chartered to develop voluntary technical standards that aim to make the development, manufacture and supply of goods and services safer, cleaner and more efficient.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

International Standards Organization 14000/ 14001 (ISO 14000/ ISO 14001)

A group of ISO standards that address environmental issues. Includes standards for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) (ISO 14001), environmental and EMS auditing, environmental labeling, performance evaluation and life-cycle assessment. Compliance results in “ISO 14000 Certification.”

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

International Standards Organization 9000 (ISO 9000)

A group of ISO standards and guidelines that relate to quality management systems. Currently includes three quality standards: ISO 19001: 2000 establishes requirements; ISO 9000: 2000 and ISO 9004: 2000 establishes guidelines. All of these are process standards, not product standards. Compliance results in “ISO 9000 Certification.”

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Irritation of Skin/Mucous Membranes

For the testing of skin irritation with the standard Draize test, rabbits are used. The chemical is applied to the rabbit skin and usually kept in contact for 4 hours. The degree of skin irritation is scored for erythema, eschar and edema formation and corrosive action. These dermal irritation observations are repeated at various intervals after the chemical has been removed. Mucous membrane irritation is measured in a similar manner. Site specific mechanical responses within the respiratory tract and eyes are measured, and a chemical is classified as an irritant based on the conclusions of these tests.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™)

A point-based rating system developed by The U.S. Green Building Council Rating System for Sustainable Development (USGBC) to assess new and existing commercial buildings for a variety of earth-friendly features.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals (LEED AP)

LEED Professional Accreditation distinguishes building professionals with the knowledge and skills to successfully steward the LEED certification process. LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) have demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles and the LEED Rating System. More than 43,000 people have earned the credential since the Professional Accreditation program was launched in 2001.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : www.usgbc.org

Lethal Concentration 50 (LC50)

An LC50 value is the concentration of a specific material in the air that will kill 50% of the test subjects (animals, usually) when administered as a single exposure (typically 1 or 4 hours) under specified laboratory conditions. This value allows comparison of the relative toxicity of different materials.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Lethal Dose 50 (LD50)

The median lethal dose (LD50) is the statistically derived median dose of a substance that can be expected to cause death in 50 percent of the test animals.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

life cycle assessment, life cycle analysis (LCA)

A technique for assessing the potential environmental impacts of a product by examining all the material and energy inputs and outputs at each life cycle stage.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

life cycle cost (LCC)

The amortized annual cost of a product, including capital costs, installation costs, operating costs, maintenance costs and disposal costs discounted over the lifetime of the product.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

life cycle inventory (LCI)

The part of the LCA process that quantifies the energy, input of raw material and releases of material into the environment that are associated with each stage of production.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Living Building Challenge

A standard launched in 2006 that defines measures of sustainability in the built environment and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions. Advanced by the Cascadia Region Green Building Council and the International Living Future Institute (formerly known as the International Living Building Institute), this certification program covers all building at all scales with the goal of a future that is Socially Just, Culturally Rich and Ecologically Benign.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : International Living Future Institute

Living Building Challenge Red List

This list is composed of materials that the International Living Future Institute (formerly known as the International Living Building Institute) and the Cascadia Region Green Building Council believe should be phased out of production due to health/toxicity concerns.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : International Living Future Institute

material

A group of one or more chemicals that together comprise a component or input to a finished product.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

A document required by OSHA that contains information about hazardous chemicals in the workplace in order to insure the safety and health of the user at all stages of a material’s manufacture, storage, use and disposal.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

MBDC

MBDC is a product and process design firm that was founded in 1995 by William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart to promote and shape what they call the “Next Industrial Revolution” through the introduction of a new design paradigm called Cradle to Cradle Design, and the implementation of eco-effective design principles.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC)

MBDC is a product and process design firm that was founded in 1995 by William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart to promote and shape what they call the “Next Industrial Revolution” through the introduction of a new design paradigm called Cradle to Cradle Design, and the implementation of eco-effective design principles.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : www.mbdc.com

mutagen

This is a substance that may cause hereditary disorders in offspring due to mutations in the chromosomes of the male or female reproductive cells. These mutations can be alterations in the structure or number of chromosomes, or nucleotide substitutions known as point mutations.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

Air quality standards required by the Clean Air Act that monitor six pollutants, known as criteria pollutants, considered harmful to public health and the environment. The Clean Air Act established two types of national air quality standards: primary standards set limits to protect public health, including the health of sensitive populations such as asthmatics, children and the elderly; and secondary standards set limits to protect public welfare, including protection against decreased visibility, damage to animals, crops, vegetation and buildings. The EPA sets and monitors the levels for these standards.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

An act that requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. To meet this requirement, federal agencies prepare a detailed statement known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). EPA reviews and comments on EISs prepared by other federal agencies, maintains a national filing system for all EISs, and assures that its own actions comply with NEPA.

CATEGORY : Green


SOURCE : National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

nonpoint
SOURCE pollution

Pollution caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and underground
SOURCEs of drinking water.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossarycy

nonpoint
SOURCE pollution (NPS Pollution)

Pollution caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and underground
SOURCEs of drinking water.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

nonrenewable energy

An energy
SOURCE, such as oil or natural gas, or a natural re
SOURCE, such as a metallic ore, that cannot be replenished or replaced after it has been used.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

NSF International (NSF)

NSF International is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides standards development, product certification, auditing, education and risk management for public health and the environment. Manufacturers, regulators and consumers alike look to NSF International for the development of public health standards and certification that help protect the world’s food, water, health and consumer products.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : NSF International

NSF/ANSI 336 Certification

Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric addresses the environmental, economic and social aspects of furnishing fabric products, including woven, non-woven, bonded and knitted fabrics used for upholstery (e.g. office and hotel furniture), vertical (e.g. drapery or panel systems fabric) and decorative top of bed applications (e.g. bedspreads) commonly used in institutional, hospitality and office settings. The standard also incorporates life cycle assessment criteria, which measures inputs, outputs and environmental impacts of textile products across their entire lifespan (cradle to grave).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : NSF International

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

The federal agency established in 1971, to ensure safe and healthful workplaces in the U.S. through leadership, enforcement, outreach, education and compliance assistance

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Octanol-Water Partitioning Coefficient (Pow)

A measure of the tendency of a chemical to partition between an aliphatic hydrocarbon system and an aqueous system. Often used as a predictor for bioaccumulation potential.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Oeko-Tex

A European standard for the impact of textiles on human ecology and the environment

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

optimization

An act, process or methodology of making something (as a design, system or decision) as fully perfect, functional or effective as possible.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

ozone

A bluish gas that is harmful to breathe. Nearly 90% of the Earth’s ozone is in the stratosphere and is referred to as the ozone layer. Ozone absorbs a band of ultraviolet radiation called UVB that is particularly harmful to living organisms. The ozone layer prevents most UVB from reaching the ground.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

ozone depleting substance (ODS)

Substances that release chlorine or bromine atoms when they break down which then deplete ozone. CFCs, HCFCs, halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform are ODSs, which are generally very stable in the troposphere and only degrade under intense ultraviolet light in the stratosphere.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

ozone-depletion potential (ODP)

This is the measure of the ozone-depleting characteristics of the substance. Ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere leads to an increase of UV-radiation on the Earth and, as a result, an increase in skin cancer. CFCs are included here.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

persistence

This is a measure of a substance’s ability to remain as a discrete chemical entity in the environment for a prolonged period of time. A common measuring tool for persistence is “half-life” (t1/2), which is the amount of time required for half of the substance to break down. If halflife is greater than 30 days in the air, or if half-life is greater than 50 days in soil, water, or any other media, the substance is considered to be persistent.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

persistent bioaccumulative toxin (PBT)

Chemicals that are toxic, persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in food chains and therefore pose risks to human health and ecosystems.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

photochemical oxidant potential

The release of harmful substances that react to form ground-level ozone, resulting in vegetation damage and human health problems.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

plastic

Any of various organic compounds produced by polymerization, capable of being molded, extruded, cast into various shapes and films or drawn into filaments used as textile fibers.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

point
SOURCE pollution

Pollution that originates from specific, known
SOURCEs such as municipal and industrial facilities, bypasses and overflows from municipal sewage systems, non-permitted and illegal dischargers, and water that is generated through oil and gas operations.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

pollution prevention


SOURCE reduction as defined in the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 13102), and other practices that reduce or eliminate the creation of pollutants through: (a) increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water or other re
SOURCEs; or (b) protection of natural re
SOURCEs by conservation.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

A thermoplastic material that is clear, tough and has good gas and moisture barrier properties. Used in soft drink bottles and other blow molded containers, although sheet applications are increasing. Cleaned, recycled PET flakes and pellets are used in some spinning fiber for carpet yarns, fiberfill and geo-textiles. Other applications include strapping, molding compounds and both food and non-food containers.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Synthetic thermoplastic polymer made from vinyl chloride. In addition to its stable physical properties, PVC has excellent transparency, chemical resistance, long-term stability, good weatherability, flow characteristics and stable electrical properties. However, its stability makes it nearly environmentally indestructible. PVC also releases hydrochloric acid and other toxic compounds when produced, used or burned.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

post-consumer

An adjective used to describe all or part of a consumer product that has reached the end of its useful life in that form.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

post-consumer material

A material or finished product that has served its intended use and has been discarded for disposal or recovery, having completed its life as a consumer item.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

post-consumer recycling

The recycling of materials generated from residential and consumer waste for use in new or similar purposes, such as converting wastepaper from offices into corrugated boxes or soda bottles into polyester fiber.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

post-industrial material

Recovered industrial and manufacturing materials that are diverted from municipal solid waste for the purpose of collection, recycling and disposition. Post-industrial materials are part of the broader category of recovered materials and include print overruns, over issue publications and obsolete inventories. <</p class=”faq-gery”>CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

product of consumption

A product designed for safe and complete return to the environment, which becomes nutrients for living systems. The product of consumption design strategy allows products to offer effectiveness without the liability of materials that must be recycled or “managed” after use.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Product of Service

A product that is used by the customer, formally or in effect, but owned by the manufacturer. The manufacturer maintains ownership of valuable material assets for continual reuse while the customer receives the service of the product without assuming its material liability. Products that can utilize valuable but potentially hazardous materials can be optimized as Products of Service.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

product stewardship

The responsible and ethical management of the health, safety and environmental aspects of a product throughout its life cycle.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

reclaimed polymer

Synthetic waste from any
SOURCE such as carpet, fabric, yarn or soda bottles that is melted down and re-extruded.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

reclamation

The act of retrieving any material from a waste stream in order to save it from loss and restore to usefulness.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

recovered materials

Waste materials and by-products which have been recovered or diverted from solid waste, but the term does not include those materials and by-products generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process (42 U.S.C. 6903 (19)).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

recyclability

The ability of a product or material to be recovered from, or otherwise diverted from, the solid waste stream for the purpose of recycling.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

recycled product

A product made in whole or part from material recovered from the waste stream.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

recycling

The series of activities, including collection, separation and processing, by which products or other materials are recovered from the solid waste stream. The products are then used in the form of raw materials in the manufacture of new products, other than fuel for producing heat or power by combustion.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical (REACH)

REACH is a new European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006). It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances. The new law entered into force on 1 June 2007. The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. At the same time, innovative capability and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry should be enhanced. The benefits of the REACH system will come gradually, as more and more substances are phased into REACH.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : European Commission

renewable

Capable of being replaced by natural ecological cycles or sound management practices.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

renewable energy

Energy derived from
SOURCEs that do not become depleted, such as the sun, wind, oceans, rivers, eligible biomass and heat from the earth’s interior.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

reprocessed fiber

Fiber made from fabric which was never put into use.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Re
SOURCE Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

The federal statute that is an amendment to the Solid Waste Disposal Act (of 1965). The four primary goals of RCRA are as follows: protection of human health and the environment from potential hazards associated with hazardous waste disposal; conservation of energy and natural re
SOURCEs; reduction of the amount of hazardous waste generated; and enforcement of environmentally sound waste management practices. Adopted by Congress in 1976.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

reusable

Capable of being used again after salvaging, special treatment or processing.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS)

SCS, an international organization, provides independent certification and verfication of environmental, sustainable, stewardship, food quality, food safety and food purity claims.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : SCS

sensitization

The ability of a substance to induce an immunologically mediated (allergic) response.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)

Instances in which building occupants experience acute health and discomfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. In contrast, the term building related illness (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

skin penetration potential

A measure of the ability of a compound to assist in the absorption of chemicals into the skin.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

solid waste

Non-liquid, non-soluble materials from
SOURCEs ranging from municipal garbage to industrial wastes that may contain complex and hazardous substances. Solid wastes also include sewage sludge, agricultural refuse, demolition wastes and mining residues. Technically, solid waste also refers to liquids and gases in containers.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary


SOURCE reduction

Any practice: (a) reducing the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment (including fugitive emissions) prior to recycling, treatment or disposal; and (b) reducing the hazards to the public health and the environment associated with the release of such substances, pollutants or contaminants.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

superfund

The U.S. government’s federal program to clean up the nation’s uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. The EPA administers the Superfund program in cooperation with individual states and tribal governments. The federal office that oversees management of the program is the EPA Office of Emergency and Remedial Response (OERR).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA)

Federal statute (of 1986) that increased the size of the Superfund trust fund for cleanup activities and increased the authority of the EPA in enforcement and cleanup activities. Title III of SARA is known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (see EPCRA).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

sustainability

The characteristic of a product, material or process to be sustainable.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

sustainable

Of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a re
SOURCE so that the re
SOURCE is not depleted or permanently damaged.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

sustainable development

That which meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (The United Nations Brundtland Commission, 1987).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

sustainable manufacturing

Manufacturing processes that have no negative impact on natural ecosystems or re
SOURCEs.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

sustainable practice

A practice (such as manufacturing) that maintains a given condition without destroying or depleting natural re
SOURCEs.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

sustainable product

A product that has no negative impact on natural ecosystems or re
SOURCEs.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

technical metabolism

Modeled on natural systems, the technical metabolism is MBDC’s term for the processes of human industry that maintain and perpetually reuse valuable synthetic and mineral materials in closed loops.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

technical nutrient

A material that remains in a closed-loop system of manufacture, reuse and recovery (the technical metabolism), maintaining its value through many product life cycles.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

teratogen

A substance shown to cause damage to the embryo or fetus through exposure by the mother (MAK-list:

Pregnancy risk group, category A).

CATEGORY : Green


SOURCE : MBDC

teratogen-suspected

Currently available information indicates that a risk of damage to the embryo or fetus can be considered probable when the mother is exposed to this substance (MAK-list: Pregnancy risk group,

category B).

CATEGORY : Gr</een
SOURCE : MBDC</een

terephthalic acid

Para-phthalic acid, [C6H4(COOH2)]. a white crystalline water-insoluble carboxylic acid used in making polyester resins, fibers and films by combination with glycols.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

terrestrial toxicity

The use or release of substances that have toxic impact on land species.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

The Natural Step (TNS)

An international organization founded in Sweden in 1989 that uses a science-based, systems framework to help organizations, individuals and communities take steps towards sustainability

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

The Next Industrial Revolution

This emerging movement of production and commerce eliminates the concept of waste, uses energy from renewable
SOURCEs and celebrates cultural and biological diversity. The promise of the Next Industrial Revolution is a system of production that fulfills desires for economic and ecological abundance and social equity in both the short and long terms becoming sustaining (not just sustainable) for all generations.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)

A type of polyurethane with notable strength and elasticity that is also less flammable compared to other polyurethane fabrics.

CATEGORY : Fiber, Green
SOURCE : Brentano, Inc.

Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ)

The amount of an extremely hazardous substance present at a facility above which the facility’s owner/operator must give emergency planning notification to local, state and federal emergency planning commissions.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

TSS represents the total amount of solid matter in a representative water sample that is retained on a membrane filter. It includes all sediment and other constituents that are fluid suspended. A commonly used method for measuring water pollution.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

toxic air pollutant

Poisonous substances in the air that come from natural
SOURCEs (for example, radon gas from the ground) or from manmade
SOURCEs (for example, chemical compounds given off by factory smokestacks) and can harm the environment or human health.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)

An EPA database (available to the public) that contains information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities reported annually by certain covered industry groups and by federal facilities. This inventory was established under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) and expanded by the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

The federal statute (of 1976) that authorized the EPA to track the 75,000 industrial chemicals currently produced or imported into the United States. EPA repeatedly screens these chemicals and can require reporting or testing of those that may pose an environmental or human-health hazard. EPA can ban the manufacture and import of chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

toxic waste

If a threshold concentration of one of fourteen substances listed by RCRA is present in an extract of a waste stream, the entire waste stream is classified as toxic waste and is subject to regulation as a hazardous waste (under the RCRA definition, 40 CFR Part 261.24). The list contains several synthetic organic chemicals and toxic metals such as lead, chromium and mercury.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

toxicity – acute

A measure of how poisonous or “deadly” a substance is during initial exposure. A common measuring tool for acute toxicity is LD50 (“lethal dose”), which is the dose required to kill 50 percent of the test animals. If LD50<200> mg/kg, the substance is named “acutely toxic”.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

toxicity – chronic

This is a measure of how poisonous a substance can become over time with repeated exposure. A substance may have low acute toxicity (i.e., little harmful effects from the initial exposure) but may become poisonous over time with repeated exposure. This may be due to accumulation of the substance or due to repeated minor damaging of target organs.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP)

A commonly used test for determining the potential of certain metals and chemicals for their potential to leach out of an unlined disposal site into groundwater at toxic levels; identified in RCRA, 40 CFR Part 261.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

A coalition of representatives from the building industry that promotes buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and are healthful places to live and work.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

Universal Hazardous Waste (UHW)

Certain hazardous, widely generated materials such as batteries, pesticides and thermostats. The EPA adopted the Universal Waste Rule (1993), which amended the Re
SOURCE Conservation and Recovery Act (

RCRA) regulations in order to allow for streamlined management of this category of hazardous wastes (58 FR 9346).

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

unmarketables

Materials to be eliminated from human use because they cannot be maintained safely in either biological or technical metabolisms.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

volatile organic compound (VOC)

Any compound that contains carbon and becomes a gas at room temperature. VOC emissions are regulated because they contribute to smog formation. The most common
SOURCEs of VOC emissions are from storage and use of liquid and gaseous fuels, the storage and use of solvents and the combustion of fuels and can include housekeeping and maintenance products and building and furnishing materials. In sufficient quantities VOC emissions can cause eye, nose, and throat irritations, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, memory impairment; some are known animal carcinogens; some are suspected or known human carcinogens.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

waste equals food

A principle of natural systems and MBDC that eliminates the concept of waste. In this design strategy, all materials are viewed as continuously valuable, circulating in closed loops of production, use and recycling.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : MBDC

waste prevention

Any change in the design, manufacturing, purchase or use of materials or products (including packaging) to reduce their amount or toxicity before they are discarded. Waste prevention also refers to the reuse of products or materials.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

waste reduction

Preventing or decreasing the amount of waste being generated through waste prevention, recycling or purchasing recycled and environmentally preferable products.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

wastewater

Water carrying dissolved or suspended solids from homes, farms, businesses and industries.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

A coalition of 160 international companies chartered to promote sustainable development through economic growth, ecological balance and social progress.

CATEGORY : Green
SOURCE : ACT Glossary

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