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NSF’s Fly Ash Ruling and Post-Consumer Alchemy

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Oct 26, 2012 01:01 AM
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by Brent Ehrlich last modified Oct 25, 2012

Author name:  Brent Ehrlich Blog Category:  GreenSpec Insights Since when are coal-burning power plants “consumers”? A look at NSF’s dubious recycling definitions. BioCel carpet backing replaces petroleum-based polymers with those made from soybeans and contains Celceram fly ash as recycled content. Photo Credit: United Textile Fly ash, a by-product of coal combustion, is considered “post-industrial” or “pre-consumer” recycled content by just about everyone…with the notable exception of NSF, which recently, and inexplicably, decided to label fly ash “post-consumer” for its NSF-140 carpet standard. NSF justifies this labeling change—explored here by the Healthy Building Network’s Tom Lent—as follows: “It is our contention that coal is consumed by the utility (the end consumer of the coal) in the process of production of electricity and that Celceram [Boral’s branded fly ash] is a product that can no longer be used for its intended purpose (i.e., the generation of heat to create steam) and would otherwise be sent to the waste stream.” Hmm, industrial waste is now post-consumer recycled content? It is a dubious argument at best. read more






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