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Released November 26, 2003


HATTIESBURG - American Pride, the high-performance, low-odor interior latex paints developed by researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been selected as one of the top 10 new green building products of the year by a national publication.

BuildingGreen, Inc., publisher of Environmental Building News™ and the GreenSpec® Product Directory, recognized American Pride as one of the most exciting new products at its second annual awards in Pittsburgh earlier this month.

"To be named a Top 10 winner provides national recognition for Southern Miss and Southern Diversified Products and further reinforces our belief that we can cooperatively develop products capable of competing with the major paint manufacturers," said Rocky Prior, vice president and general manager of Southern Diversified Products, which markets American Pride.

GreenSpec is the leading directory of "green" building products, those products used to promote environmental safety and responsibility. The products in the 1,750-plus listings in the directory are selected by editors of Environmental Building News (EBN) based on criteria developed over the past 12 years. Manufacturers do no pay to be listed in GreenSpec, and neither GreenSpec nor EBN carries advertising. Instead, both are supported by users of the information.

"Material selection is a key aspect of green building," said GreenSpec coeditor Alex Wilson. "Our product selections this year show off some of the tremendous innovation we're seeing in the building products industry." The BuildingGreen Top 10 products cover a wide spectrum of products and applications. Some are used primarily in commercial buildings, others in residential applications. Some are considered green because they are made from recycled-content or bio-based materials, others because they save water or are highly durable.

One of the winners actually helps restore damaged ecosystems. Included in the Top 10 products are a sensor-activated faucet in which a tiny hydropower turbine keeps the sensor batteries charged, an innovative "smart" vapor retarder whose permeability increases a relative humidity rises, and a line of laboratory casework made from straw-based particleboard.

What makes American Pride so unique - and environmentally sound - is that it contains latex that uses castor oil as the building block. While some paints are derived from bio-based materials such as linseed oil, American Pride is the first latex paint to use bio-based materials in this novel way.

American Pride does not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and has virtually no smell, allowing interior painting while a building is occupied.

"We are honored that BuildingGreen has chosen American Pride to receive this prestigious award," said Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames, whose research team of polymer scientists developed the paint. "I think it is a testimony to the quality, the safety and the innovation this product possesses."

The paints are currently for sale at individual dealers throughout Mississippi and by special order in other parts of the country. Next month, Southern Diversified Products will expand the line of American Pride paints by offering a semi-gloss with antimicrobial properties. It will also launch a professional line of paints called American Pro.

"We expect these products to receive the same critical acclaim and provide a solid platform for future growth," Prior said.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM