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How Building Materials Turn Toxic During a Fire

Nov. 22, 2019

As wildfire season continues in California, it’s important to be aware of the less-obvious hazards of wildfires (and building fires in general). Buildings that end up being destroyed and burned can emit hazardous toxins from different kinds of materials when they burn, including insulation, carpeting and piping. Learn more.

As wildfire season continues in California, it’s important to be aware of the less-obvious hazards of wildfires (and building fires in general). Buildings that end up being destroyed and burned can emit hazardous toxins from different kinds of materials when they burn, including insulation, carpeting and piping. 

This can create serious health concerns for occupants, first responders and even the surrounding community.

Kathleen Hetrick, a senior sustainability engineer with BuroHappold, discusses her research into this topic, how to tell whether or not a material is toxic and the importance of lifecycle assessments. Listen now

About the Author

Sarah Kloepple | Associate Editor

Sarah joined the BUILDINGS team as an associate editor in August 2018. She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, where her focus was magazine writing. She's written and edited for numerous publications in her hometown of St. Louis.

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