The International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Red List is a framework designed to identify and eliminate materials that are harmful to human health and the environment from the built environment. The ILFI Red List is a list of materials that are commonly used in the construction industry that contain chemicals or substances that are harmful to human health and the environment. These materials have been shown to have negative effects on the environment and the health of people who come into contact with them.

The ILFI Red List is a tool that can be used by architects, builders, and other building professionals to make informed decisions about the materials they use in their projects. By choosing materials that do not contain any substances on the Red List, these professionals can create healthier, more sustainable buildings.

The ILFI Red List is composed of two categories: the Declare Red List and the Living Building Challenge (LBC) Red List. The Declare Red List is a list of chemicals and materials that are not allowed in products that are seeking Declare label certification. The LBC Red List is a list of chemicals and materials that are not allowed in any building project seeking LBC certification.

The ILFI Red List includes chemicals and substances that have been linked to cancer, reproductive disorders, developmental issues, and other health problems. The list also includes materials that are harmful to the environment, such as substances that contribute to climate change or damage ecosystems.

In 2023 the Living Building Challenge 4.0 introduced the LBC Watch List, which contains chemicals and compound groups for potential future inclusion in the LBC Red List. Inclusion on the Watch List does not change a product’s Declaration Status, and project teams can still use products that contain these chemicals on LBC projects.

Chemicals and substances on the ILFI Red List include asbestos, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, PVC, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These substances are commonly found in building materials such as insulation, flooring, paint, and adhesives.

Here is a list of items commonly found on the ILFI Red List:

  • Asbestos
  • Cadmium
  • Chlorinated Polyethylene
  • Chlorosulfonated Polyethlene
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Chloroprene (Neoprene)
  • Formaldehyde (added)
  • Halogenated Flame Retardants
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
  • Lead (added)
  • Mercury
  • Petrochemical Fertilizers
  • Petrochemical Pesticides
  • Phthalates
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Wood Treatments containing Creosote, Arsenic or Pentachlorophenol