Xtox for Builders, Developers, and Construction Industry Professionals

It’s a jungle out there! The very premises upon which we have formed a construction industry manufacturing base are coming under question, and ever-increasingly this is being played out in the world’s courts of law. Xtox provides a service for the analysis of building materials relevant to iindoor air quality and human health. Survey your specified materials before costly mistakes are made, so that you are more able to output a product that serves its purpose, with the least possible scope for legal redress from unhappy customers.

We do this with our detailed knowledge of the toxic threats or propensities in “modern” building products that may threaten your operations in the future. When Xtox consults into your projects, you can hae greater peace of mind that you have been engaging in the diligence required to engage in non-harmful construction activities.

“A $4.2 billion class action on behalf of about 250,000 owners and residents of about 1400 apartments is being planned in Victoria as the first stage in a national campaign against construction companies to compensate for the costs of replacing combustible cladding.” Australian Financial Review (source link)

“We know there are millions of square metres of combustible cladding in Australia but we don’t know where most of it is, or what to do about it.

It will be a big job.

And combustible cladding is just one symptom of a much more systemic failure in the whole building industry.

MARK CARTER: We’ve got all these sort of checks and balances that have somewhere along the line been missed.

What we’ve got is a legacy of a lot of buildings that you’ve got to question their safety going forward in the future and I think that’s really unfortunate.” source

Expose "combustible" on flammable aluminium cladding

Four Corners, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

According to court documents, the firm discovered evidence of the information while reviewing discovery materials in a separate products liability case against BASF, Bayer MaterialScience, Dow Chemicals, and others. After doing some digging, the plaintiffs say they discovered that those three companies and Huntsman International breached their duty to disclose to the government evidence of the dangers of isocyanate chemicals. The chemicals are used in the creation of many household items, including paints, adhesives, and insulation. For decades, the complaint alleges, the chemical manufacturers kept the information secret, in violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and then concealed these violations, in violation of the False Claims Act.

The complaint says that the companies, both alone and together, acted to keep information showing that isocyanate chemicals can cause lung and respiratory problems in humans after minimal exposure from skin contact or inhalation. The Environmental Protection Agency had been aware of the risks of inhaling isocyanate chemicals, the complaint says, but only believed that injury from skin contact was “a possibility.” The chemical companies, however, allegedly knew that just one drop of certain isocyanate chemicals on the skin “could cause permanent respiratory injury in humans,” but did not tell the government.

Law and Crime

Whistleblowers Sue Chemical Companies Over Alleged Failure to Disclose Health Risks, Re. Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP

Caveat:

Please note that Xtox does not replace the requirement for the usual industry professionals that have responsibilities to place non-harmful materials, designs, construction methodologies, etc. into the projects that they complete.

With the exception of the lumber liquidators formaldehyde case, the examples of incorrect materials specification and litigation given on this website are not necessarily specific to indoor human health concerns: fire specifications or building structural features, for example, are not part of the Xtox focus or statement of activity.

Xtox is specifically concerned with indoor or interior enclosed space (or water features) and the implementation of healthy Vs hazardous materials into those situations, specifically pertaining to air (or electromagnetic) quality of the space, and most relevant to human health.

The broad parallel to be drawn with these other cases quoted is, of course, that incorrect specification of materials can lead to various forms of business operations catastrophy. In quoting the occurrences, Xtox thus seeks simply to illustrate the way that bad materials might pave the way for enormous future trouble, via examples that are instances of incorrectly specified building materials.

Similarly, Xtox certifications and accreditations based upon the Xtox in-house standards are just that; they do not intend to, and nor should they take the place of, current construction industry building, pest, integrity, structure, fire or other inspections, assessments, or performance standards already articulated elsewhere, and often enshrined in codes and trade of practice and legislation. Conversely, what Xtox intends is to bridge the gap in terms of better understanding and remediating the various toxicities found in human health in enclosed spaces, with the goal towards more healthy spaces for human occupation.

An Xtox Healthy Building Accreditation / Certification is in no way intended to be a substitute for a building inspection, and does not elaborate upon the same things as a home building inspection. It is recommended that if you have a standard home building inspection booked, that you co-ordinate both inspections at the same time so that Xtox can discuss building characteristics with the home building inspector, so as to maximise the usefulness and insight of both building assessments.