Green Building, Black Lung?

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED building rating system has helped grow the ranks of green buildings, but some say it ignores the human health impact of those buildings.
August 17, 2010, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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This op-ed from Yale Environment 360 argues that the LEED rating system needs to do more to monitor potentially hazardous or toxic substances used in the energy efficient and otherwise green materials used to build the buildings it certifies as "environmentally friendly".

"LEED - sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, an industry group - has a glaring and little-known drawback: It places scant emphasis on factors relating to human health, even as the largely unregulated use of potentially toxic building materials continues to expand. One of LEED's major accomplishments - saving energy by making buildings more airtight - has had the paradoxical effect of more effectively trapping the gases emitted by the unprecedented number of chemicals used in today's building materials and furnishings. Yet, as the threat from indoor air pollution grows, LEED puts almost no weight on human health factors in deciding whether a building meets its environmental and social goals."

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Published on Monday, August 16, 2010 in Yale Environment 360
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