The Health Product Declaration (HPD) Open Standard Overview: PART FOUR

Health Product Declarations (HPDs) have become critical specification tools for LEED v4 and LEED v4.1 projects. The HPD provides two key things: a content inventory and a list of potential health hazards associated with product ingredients. However, navigating the HPD Open Standard can be daunting for building product manufacturers and suppliers. In this continuing series, we will breakdown the HPD Open Standard for building product manufacturers and suppliers.

The content inventory is one of the most important components of an HPD. Product content inventory requires reporting of information about substances at the material or building product level. The manufacturer is responsible for obtaining and validating this information from supply chain sources. Today we will explore the Content Inventory within the Summary section.

There are four key items to consider under the Content Inventory section: Inventory Reporting Methods, Threshold, Residuals and Impurities Considered, and the section Characterized, Screened and Identified.  The HPD Open Standard outlines how this information is to be reported as follows:

Inventory Reporting Methods

Within the HPD Open Standard, there are two ways to create a content inventory. The Nested Materials Inventory Method and the Basic Inventory Method. The Nested Materials Inventory Method itemizes all materials and then lists substances within each material above the reportable threshold. This method gives material level information in a practical context that aligns with other product inventory, screening, and optimization programs.

The Basic Inventory Method provides a single list of substances above the reportable threshold in the product. The Basic Inventory Method does not provide material level information. In addition, only a “Per Product” threshold can be used on a Basic Inventory.

Bottom Line: Product manufacturers should opt for the Nested Materials Inventory Method. It is the preferable method used by teams. However, if a company manufactures a product with a multitude of chemicals and substances that may cause them confusion, for the sake of sanity, the manufacturer may opt for the Basic Inventory Method.

In the content inventory, thresholds are defined as concentration(s) at or above which the manufacturer or supplier itemizes substances present within the material or product, as applicable. Thresholds must be reported per material or per product.

The HPD Open Standard stipulates that when a threshold is reported for a material that substances in each material are reported based on being at or above the specified threshold level within the material of which they are an ingredient.

When a threshold is defined for a product, substances are reported based on being at or above the specified threshold level within the entire product, regardless of whether they are reported as an ingredient of a material or as an independent substance. A Basic Inventory has a per-product threshold; a Nested Materials Inventory can have a single per-product threshold or multiple per-material thresholds. Options for thresholds include: 100 ppm, 1000 ppm, Per GHS SDS, and Other.

Bottom Line: Product manufacturers should consider the material threshold since it offers more transparency. The product threshold will still meet LEED v4.1 requirements but does not offer the detail as the material threshold option.

Residuals and Impurities are important parts of the HPD Open Standard. A residual is defined as an intentionally used substance that may be present in the final material/mixture but which is not intended as a constituent. For example, this may refer to substances included in a manufacturing process to aid processing, as well as inputs to a reaction process such as reagents, catalysts, or monomers.

An impurity is defined as an unintended substance present in a material/mixture as manufactured that was not an intentionally used substance in the production of the material/mixture. It may originate from the starting materials or be the result of secondary or incomplete reactions during the manufacturing process. For example, a chemical substance as supplied in commerce that is 99.0% pure is a mixture of the pure chemical substance and 1.0% impurities.

For Nested Materials Inventory, manufacturers must include the number of materials in a product that include consideration of residuals and impurities (“X”) as compared to the total number of materials (“Y”). Per the Standard, an explanation is required and must be located in HPD Format Section 2: Residuals and Impurities Notes. For Basic Inventory, manufacturers must include whether residuals and impurities were considered. An explanation is required and must be located in HPD Format Section 2: Residuals and Impurities Notes.

Another critical aspect of the HPD Open Standard Summary is the section for Characterized, Screened, and Identified substances. For Characterized are the percent weight and role provided for each substance? For Screened, are all substances screened using Priority Hazard Lists with results disclosed? And for Identified, are all substances disclosed by Name (Specific or Generic) and Identifier?

Bottom Line: Product manufacturers having difficulty navigating these sections, should refer to the excellent resources on the HPDC website. In addition, third party consultants can help manufacturers develop LEED v4 compliant HPDs.

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