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I thought you would be interested in this article from environment: YALE magazine, the Journal of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
Standards used to certify buildings as environmentally friendly are insufficient to protect human health, according to a report authored by John Wargo, Ph.D. ’84, professor of environmental risk analysis and policy at F&ES.
Wargo said that although the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program has been effective in encouraging energy efficiency, well-insulated buildings often contain chemicals, in high concentrations, released from building materials, cleaning supplies, fuel combustion, pesticides and other hazardous substances. The council’s most prestigious platinum award, he says, does little to ensure that hazardous chemicals are kept out of certified buildings.
“The underlying problem is that thousands of different chemicals, many of them well-recognized to be hazardous, are allowed by the federal government to become components of building materials. Very few of these chemicals have been tested to identify their toxicity, environmental fate or the danger they pose to human health,” he said.
The report, “LEED Certification: Where Energy Efficiency Collides With Human Health,” was sponsored by the nonprofit Environment and Human Health (EHHI), founded by Nancy Alderman ’97. The report can be viewed at http://www.ehhi.org/reports/leed/LEED_report_0510.pdf.
EHHI recommends, among other things, that the board of the Green Building Council, which is composed of developers, engineers, chemical and materials manufacturers and architects, should include more experts in the area of human health and that the government should categorize building products to identify those that contain hazardous compounds, those that have…
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