Chemical Giants Target the USGBC: Part 1


From Bill Walsh, Healthy Building Network

The credibility of the US chemical industry has taken a beating in the press this month. But instead of apologizing, pledging to reform its ways, or disciplining a “few bad apples,” for being caught lying red handed, the industry has doubled down and launched an all out attack on the US Green Building Council. The focus of the attack – modest amendments to the LEED Rating System, two voluntary credits that address the presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and other toxins in LEED-rated buildings.

To recap, during the week of May 6th, the Chicago Tribune published a four-part series documenting the collusion between US chemical companies and Big Tobacco to promote the widespread use of toxic flame retardants (now widely used in building products and furnishings) that don’t even reduce fire threats, but do greatly increase health threats from endocrine-disrupting chemicals in American children. The Columbia Journalism Review hailed the Tribune series as an “outstanding investigation” of “a decades-long campaign of deception” that “manipulated scientific findings” with “flaws so basic they violate central tenets of science,” and created a “phony consumer watchdog,” a “front” that has “misrepresented itself.” In last Sunday’s New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristoff called it “a case study of everything that is wrong with money politics.”

Read the rest of this article at Healthy Building Network.