If I had asked people what they wanted,
they would have said faster horses.
Henry Ford (1863–1947)
v o l u m e 119
n u m b e r 1
Environmental Health Perspectives
INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Emit a Bouquet
A survey of selected scented consumer goods
showed the products emitted more than
100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs),
including some that are classified as toxic
or hazardous by federal laws.
ucts advertised as “green,” “natural,” or
“organic” emitted as many hazardous chem-
icals as standard ones.
Anne Steinemann, a professor of civil
and environmental engineering and public
affairs at the University
of Washington, Seattle,
and colleagues used gas
spectrometry to analyze
VOCs given off by the
products. They tested
25 air fresheners, laun-
dry detergents, fabric
softeners, dryer sheets,
dis infectants, dish deter-
gents, all-purpose clean-
ers, soaps, hand sanitizers,
lotions, deodorants, and
shampoos. Many of the
products tested are top
sellers in their category.
A single fragrance in
a product can contain a
mixture of hundreds of
chemicals, some of which
(e.g., limonene, a citrus
scent) react with ozone
in ambient air to form
dangerous secondary pol-
lutants, including formal-
detected 133 different
VOCs. Most commonly
detected were limonene,
α- and β-pinene (pine
scents), and ethanol and
acetone (often used as
carriers for fragrance
Steinemann and colleagues found the
average number of VOCs emitted was 17.
Each product emitted 1–8 toxic or hazard-
ous chemicals, and close to half (44%)
generated at least 1 of 24 carcinogenic haz-
ardous air pollutants, such as acetaldehyde,
1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, or methylene
These hazardous air pollutants
have no safe exposure level, according to the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Of the 133 VOCs detected, only ethanol
was listed on any label (for 2 products),
and only ethanol and 2-butoxyethanol were
listed on any Material Safety Data Sheet (for
5 products and 1 product, respectively).
The Consumer Product Safet y Commis-
sion, which regulates cleaning supplies, air
fresheners, and laundry products, currently
does not require manufacturers to disclose
any ingredients on the label, including
fragrances in these products.
The same is
true for fragrances in personal care items,
which are overseen by
the Food and Drug
Labeling Act, cur-
rently under review in
the U.S. Senate, would
ers to label consumer
products with all
“Disclosing all ingre-
dients could be a first
step to understanding
potential toxicity and
health effects,” says
authors did not seek
to assess whether use
of any of the products
studied would be asso-
ciated with any risk,
Steinemann says she
receives hundreds of
letters, phone calls,
and e-mails from
people who report a
variety of respiratory,
lems they attribute
to scented products:
“Children have seizures after exposure to
dryer sheets, and adults pass out around
air fresheners,” she says.
colleague Stanley M. Caress have written
elsewhere that 19% of respondents across
two U.S. telephone surveys reported health
problems they attributed to air fresheners,
and nearly 11% reported irritation they
attributed to scented laundry products
“It’s important to take people’s com-
plaints seriously,” says Steinemann, because
“these human experiences are helping to
inform science.” One of her next projects
will focus on biomarkers of exposure and
effect to better understand how fragranced
products may cause a range of adverse health
effects. “The ultimate goal is to improve
public health,” Steinemann says. For now,
she recommends cleaning with basic sup-
plies like vinegar and baking soda.
Steinemann’s study “strongly suggests
that we need to find unscented alternatives
for cleaning our homes, laundry, and our-
selves,” says Claudia Miller, an allergist and
immunologist at the University of Texas
Health Science Center at San Antonio. An
expert in chemical sensitivity, or toxicant-
induced loss of tolerance, Miller created
the Quick Environmental Exposure and
a screening tool for
chemical intolerance. According to Miller,
products intended to keep homes smelling
fresh can set people up for a lifetime of
chemically induced illness, and repeated
exposure to small amounts of household
chemicals can trigger symptoms to previ-
ously tolerated chemicals.
“The best smell
is no smell,” Miller says.
Carol Potera, based in Montana, has written for EHP since
1996. She also writes for Microbe, Genetic Engineering News,
and the American Journal of Nursing.
1. Steinemann AC, et al. Fragranced consumer products:
chemicals emitted, ingredients unlisted. Environ Impact Assess
Rev [in press]; doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2010.08.002.
2. Walser ML, et al. Photochemical aging of secondary organic
aerosol particles generated from the oxidation of d-limonene.
J Phys Chem A 111(10):1907–1913 (2007); PMID:17311364.
3. EPA. Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, EPA/630/P-
03/001F, Mar 2005. Available: http://tinyurl.com/2cu4qzv
[accessed 8 Dec 2010].
4. Consumer Product Safety Act, Pubic Law 92-573, 86 Stat.
1207 (1972). Available: http://tinyurl.com/32b4duc [accessed
8 Dec 2010].
5 FDA. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Part 701. Cosmetic
Labeling, §701.2–§701.9. Washington, DC:U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (2001). Available: http://tinyurl.com/3224kko
[accessed 8 Dec 2010].
6. Govtrack.us [database]. Household Product Labeling Act of
2009, S. 1697. Available: http://tinyurl.com/yb5nkbv [accessed
8 Dec 2010].
7. Exposure Assessment, Feedback from the Public [website].
Seattle, WA:University of Washington, College of Engineering,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Available:
http://tinyurl.com/2uh9gan [accessed 8 Dec 2010].
8. Caress SM, Steinemann AC. Prevalence of fragrance sensitivity
in the American population. J Environ Health 71(7):46–50
9. Miller CS, Prihoda TJ. The Environmental Exposure and
Sensitivity Inventory (EESI): a standardized approach for
measuring chemical intolerances for research and clinical
applications. Toxicol Ind Health 15(3-4):370–385 (1999);
doi:10.1177/074 8233799 0150 0311.
10 Miller CS. The compelling anomaly of chemical intolerance.
Ann N Y Acad Sci 933:1–23 (2001); PMID:12000012.
133 unique VOCs
24 of these are
classified as toxic
under at least one
1 of the
133 was listed on
2 of the
listed on any
Among the many touted benefits of nanotech-
nology, one of the most alluring is the possi-
bility that it will help reduce reliance on fossil
fuels. Researchers and industry analysts foresee
lighter and more efficient vehicles and wind
turbines, solar panels that capture more of the
sun’s energy, smaller and longer-lasting batter-
ies, better insulation, and smarter lighting, to
name a few nanotechnology prospects, some
already on the market. But a new report from
the conservation group Friends of the Earth
(FOE) criticizes the vision of a clean-energy
revolution brought about by engineered nano-
materials as so much greenwash and claims the
young technology’s carbon, environmental,
and human-health footprints are likely to
eclipse any energy savings.
Engineered nanomaterials are a relatively
new class of manufactured materials with at
least one dimension between 1 and 100 nm.
The larger ones are about one-eightieth
the size of a red blood cell. At such small
scales, the ratio of surface area to volume is
huge, giving the material novel properties.
Nanomaterials in an array of shapes and
chemistries are being applied to medicine,
consumer products, environmental remedia-
tion, the energy industry, and more.
The FOE report focuses in part on the
enormous amounts of energy needed to
produce many nanomaterials. For instance,
one life-cycle analysis calculated that car-
bon nano tubes, which are widely used to
strengthen and lighten manufactured goods,
require 2–100 times more energy to produce
than aluminum, a notorious energy hog.
some critics of the report question whether the
energy it takes to produce nanomaterials tor-
pedoes their overall benefit. In a statement, Jay
West, senior director of the Nanotechnology
Panel at the American Chemistry Council,
said, “[w]hile some nanomaterials may be
energy-intensive to produce, such energy
expenditures may be more than offset by the
energy savings they make possible.” (Requests
for comment on the report were declined by
the U.S. Department of Energy.)
The FOE report also challenges whether
nanotechnology will be able to deliver energy
savings promised in a long list of applications
quickly enough to make a difference. For
instance, it cites several studies showing
solar panels made with nanomaterials trail
conventional silicon panels in efficiency and
durability, and says there’s not a moment to
spare waiting for nanotechnology to catch
up. “With climate change we don’t really
have that much time to ameliorate the situa-
tion,” says Ian Illuminato, one of the report’s
authors. Moreover, the FOE report warns
that petrochemical companies are investing
heavily in nanotechnology in the hope it
could double the amount of oil that can be
extracted from known oil and gas reserves.
It also points out that the manufacturing
process for many nanomaterials relies on
high inputs of water and solvents and gener-
ates hazardous by-products and a great deal
Yet David Rejeski, director of the Project
on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the
Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars, says, “Compared with the develop-
ment times of other technologies, nano is not
particularly slow and may even be faster. You
could say that it has been moving at a pace
that will make it unlikely to offer large-scale
solutions to the climate challenge within the
next five to ten years. But in ten to twenty
years, nano will likely play a much larger role
in terms of energy solutions.”
One thing everyone seems to agree on is
that cost is a big reason for pursuing nano-
technology in the solar industry. Currently
traditional silicon-based solar cells generate
energy at a price of about $1.50–2.00 per
In order for solar to capture a sub-
stantial share of the energy market, how-
ever, the cost must go down significantly,
and silicon-based panels have little hope of
keeping up, says Ashok Sood, president and
CEO of Magnolia Solar, a startup company
developing nanostructure-based solar cells.
He says his company’s business model relies
on analyses and experimental data showing
that such solar cells can meet or beat the
efficiency of silicon-based cells, bringing the
price per watt down to under $1.00. “Have
they been demonstrated? Partially. Is the
potential there? Yes. That’s what this is all
about,” he says. “If I can do under one dollar
a watt, I have a winner.”
There also is general agreement that
much more information is needed about
the potential human health effects of nano-
materials. The limited evidence to date gives
some researchers pause. For example, several
mouse studies have shown that carbon nano-
tubes injected into the abdominal cavity (a
surrogate for human mesothelial exposure)
or instilled into the trachea behave much
Another study showed that
nanoscale titanium dioxide administered sub-
cutaneously to pregnant mice caused nerve
damage in their offspring.
FOE has been calling for a moratorium on
the commercialization of products containing
nanomaterials for the past five years, pending
regulation to protect against potential threats
to public health and the environment. “We
need sound regulation, but unfortunately
science and new technology always pose
regulatory challenges that our agencies just
aren’t prepared for. But at the same time,
we’ve got thousands of products [already] on
the market,” says Illuminato.
Rejeski believes it’s too early to dismiss
nanotechnology, especially when there is
a research effort devoted to greening the
manufacturing process. “People are going to
get smarter,” he says. “No company wants
to use lots of energy and lots of toxic chemi-
cals to make nanomaterials. But developing
environmentally benign processes could take
ten or twenty years and much more invest-
ment.” In fact, about the same time the FOE
report was released, researchers based at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology pub-
lished a new method for producing carbon
nanotubes in the laboratory that they say
cuts energy requirements in half and reduces
harmful by-products by 90% or more.
However, the FOE report notes that even if
tenfold decreases in energy use are eventually
achieved, carbon nanomaterials will still be
much more energy-intensive to produce than
aluminum or steel.
Bhavik Bakshi of The Ohio State
University in Columbus and TERI University
in New Delhi, several of whose life-cycle
analyses of carbon nanofibers are cited in the
believes governments and the
nanotechnology industry must quickly and
significantly increase investments in greening
up both manufacturing and products to avoid
repeating mistakes made with earlier innova-
tions, like asbestos and the insecticide DDT.
Historically, enthusiasm for the immediate
benefits of new technologies has overshadowed
consideration of potential problems until they
appear years later, says Bakshi, adding, “The
bar needs to be set a lot higher when it comes
to adopting nanoproducts.”
Rebecca Kessler, based in Providence, RI, writes about science
and the environment for various publications. She is a member
of the National Association of Science Writers and the Society
of Environmental Journalists.
1. FOE. Nanotechnology, Climate and Energy: Over-Heated Promises
and Hot Air? Washington, DC:Friends of the Earth (2010).
Available: http://tinyurl.com/2dm3cym [accessed 8 Dec 2010].
2. Kushnir D, Sanden BA. Energy requirements of carbon
nanoparticle production. J Industr Ecol 12(3):360–375 (2008); doi:
10.1111/j.1530 -9290. 20 08.0 0057.x .
3. Solarbuzz. Solar Module Retail Price Highlights: December 2010.
San Francisco, CA:Solarbuzz (2010). Available: http://tinyurl.com/
ydletja [accessed 8 Dec 2010].
4. Poland CA, et al. Carbon nanotubes introduced into the
abdominal cavity of mice show asbestos-like pathogenicity
in a pilot study. Nature Nanotechnol 3(7):423–428 (2008);
doi:10.103 8/nnan o. 20 08.111.
5. Sanchez V, et al. Biopersistence and potential adverse health
impacts of fibrous nanomaterials: what have we learned from
asbestos? Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
1(5):511–529 (2009); doi:10.1002/wnan.41.
6. Takeda K, et al. Nanoparticles transferred from pregnant mice to
their offspring can damage the genital and cranial nerve systems.
J Health Sci 55(1):95–102 (2009); doi:10.1248/jhs.55.95.
7. Plata D, et al. Multiple alkynes react with ethylene to enhance
carbon nanotube synthesis, suggesting a polymerization-like
formation mechanism. ACS Nano [in press]; doi: 10.1021/
Environmental Health Perspectives
v o l u m e 119
n u m b e r 1
Left to right: Jiang Hongyan/Shutterstock; Sean McBride/iStockphoto
Report Finds Estimates of Gulf
Coast Exposure to Carcinogens Off
The Natural Resources Defense Council
reports the FDA underestimated seafood
consumption by Gulf Coast residents
in developing their June 2010 protocol
for determining safe seafood levels of
toxic PAHs following the BP Deepwater
Horizon oil spill.
The FDA used national
consumption data, rather than region-
specific information and also did not
take into account the dietary patterns
of subpopulations including children
and the region’s large Vietnamese-
American population. Gulf Coast shrimp
consumption rates were found to range
from 3.6 to 12.1 times higher than the
Federal Bedbug Summit in
On 1–2 February 2011 the Federal Bed
Bug Workgroup will sponsor the second
national bedbug summit in Washington,
The meeting will be open to the
public and accessible via a webinar. The
workgroup will review the current bedbug
problem and seeks to identify and prioritize
actions to manage and control these
increasingly prevalent and resistant pests.
Coal Tar Sealant a Significant
USGS researchers used a chemical mass-
balance model to show that coal tar
pavement sealants were the chief source
of PAHs flowing into 40 U.S. urban lakes.
Surface water concentrations of PAHs,
which are a probable human carcinogen
by Erin E. Dooley
v o l u m e 119
n u m b e r 1
Environmental Health Perspectives
Tobacco Bio-oil Kills
Cigarette smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable
death and disease in the United States,
but tobacco has potentially
beneficial uses as well as deadly ones. Gardeners have long known
that homemade mixtures of tobacco and water can kill insect pests.
But these homemade brews kill desirable insects, too, and could
poison animals that ingest them. Now researchers at the University
of Western Ontario are finding new ways to turn tobacco into a
more selective eco-friendly pest control agent.
A team led by chemical engineer Cedric Briens heated finely
ground tobacco leaves to 500°C in a vacuum, a process called
pyrolysis, then collected the condensate. (Since publishing the
paper, the team has found they can use the entire plant—leaves
and stalks—which makes it easier and cheaper to harvest the
tobacco.) The bio-oil was tested against the Colorado potato beetle
(Leptinotarsa decemlineata), 11 fungi, and 4 bacteria, all of which
are agricultural pests.
The bio-oil blocked the growth of the bacteria Streptomyces
scabies and Clavibacter michiganensis and the fungus Pythium
ultimum. S. scabies causes a common potato scab disease that
makes potatoes unmarketable, C. michiganensis kills young plants
and deforms fruits, especially tomatoes, and P. ultimum kills
seedlings of eggplant, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
The bio-oil also killed 100% of Colorado potato beetles, a
resistant pest that can destroy potato crops. The other organisms
Nicotine, a key toxin in tobacco, has known insecticidal
properties on its own. But even after removing nicotine from the
bio-oil, it still potently killed these few pests.
The authors say the
active components probably include a mixture of phenols with
known pesticidal properties working synergistically. They analyzed
the bio-oil using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and note
that some of the constituents defy detection. It’s possible new
pesticidal molecules are being formed in the high heat conditions
of pyrolysis. “We do know that no single molecule is effective, and
we seem to have discovered a natural cocktail,” Briens says.
The probable mixture of active chemicals suggests agricultural
pests may not readily develop resistance to the bio-oil. Control of
the Colorado potato beetle is especially challenging because the
beetle is notorious for its ability to adapt rapidly to new pesticides
that are applied.
“Insecticides that work now will be obsolete in a
few years, and we’ll need new insecticides,” Briens says.
The ability of the bio-oil to target certain agricultural pests
could be an asset for future commercialization, because it could
spare desirable insects such as honeybees. Some pesticide manu-
facturers are watching the bio-oil work, but they want to know
the active molecules before becoming involved. Then the active
components of the bio-oil will require toxicity testing to assess
their impact on the environment.
Briens’ study “is a logical and efficient approach to identify a use-
ful by-product of tobacco plants, creating a value-added pesticidal
fraction,” says Joel Coats, a professor of entomology and toxicology
at Iowa State University in Ames. “The possibility of discovering a
novel pesticidal molecule makes the project very worthwhile.”
Carol Potera, based in Montana, has written for EHP since 1996. She also writes for Microbe,
Genetic Engineering News, and the American Journal of Nursing.
1. Dube SR, et al. Vital signs: current cigarette smoking among adults aged ≥ 18 years—United States, 2009.
MMWR 59(35):1135–1140 (2010). Available: http://tinyurl.com/2v3eszr [accessed 8 Dec 2010].
2. Booker CJ, et al. Experimental investigations into the insecticidal, fungicidal, and bactericidal properties
of pyrolysis bio-oil from tobacco leaves using a fluidized bed pilot plant. Ind Eng Chem Res 49(20):10074–
10079 (2010); doi:10.1021/ie100329z.
3. Insecticide Resistance in Colorado Potato Beetles [website]. Orono, ME:University of Maine Cooperative
Extension (updated 19 Feb 2010). Available: http://tinyurl.com/34mbkd2 [accessed 8 Dec 2010].
Gulf Coast residents eat an
average of two shrimp meals
per week, twice the FDA
Lakes in cities where coal tar
sealant is most commonly
used had far higher PAH
levels than other lakes.
and are toxic to fish and other aquatic life,
have been increasing in recent decades.
Being able to determine the source of these
PAHs will help in the design better ways to
manage them. Some U.S. municipalities
have already banned coal tar sealants.
Ford Cottons to Recycling
Ford Motor Company recently announced
its 2012 Ford Focus models will use carpet
backing and soundproofing materials
made from recycled cotton denim.
production can have a large environmental
footprint, and clothing and other textiles
represent about 4% of municipal solid
Each car will use an amount of
postconsumer cotton equal to the amount
in two pair of jeans.
“Greenwashing” is the term for ads and
labels that promise more environmental
benefit than they deliver.
in a series of reports by TerraChoice
Environmental Marketing finds that
marketers are getting better at
substantiating claims of “greenness”
about their products.
The number of
self-described green products tallied on
shelves increased 73% between 2009 and
2010, with 4.5% of such products making
credible claims. In 2007, only 1% of the
claims made by surveyed products could be
verified. One area where marketing claims
have skyrocketed is in products claiming
they have no bisphenol A (up 577%
over 2009) or no phthalates (up 2,550%
1. NRDC. Gulf Coast Seafood Consumption Survey.
Washington, DC:Natural Resources Defense Council
(2010). Available: http://tinyurl.com/24b3mhx [accessed
10 Dec 2010].
2. EPA. Second National Bed Bug Summit [website].
Washington, DC:U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (updated 9 Dec 2010). Available: http://tinyurl.
com/23sfmd8 [accessed 10 Dec 2010].
3. Van Metre PC, Mahler BJ. Contribution of PAHs from
coal–tar pavement sealcoat and other sources to 40
U.S. lakes. Sci Total Environ 409(2):334–344 (2010);
4. Ford Motor Company. A perfect fit: recycled clothing
finds a new home inside next-generation Ford Focus
[press release]. 30 Nov 2010. Dearborn, MI:Ford
Motor Company. Available: http://tinyurl.com/34ffp67
[accessed 10 Dec 2010].
5. Claudio L. Waste couture: environmental impact of the
clothing industry. Environ Health Perspect 115(9):A449–
6. Dahl R. Greenwashing: do you know what you’re
buying? Environ Health Perspect 118(6):A246–A252
7. TerraChoice Environmental Marketing. The Sins of
Greenwashing: Home and Family Edition. London,
UK:TerraChoice Environmental Marketing (2010). Available:
http://tinyurl.com/2d89tx8 [accessed 10 Dec 2010].
Environmental Health Perspectives
v o l u m e 119
n u m b e r 1
School Siting: EPA Says
Fifty-three million U.S. children and 6 million employees spend much
of the day in a public or private school.
Pollution problems in these
settings are so widespread that the Congress mandated in the Energy
Independence and Security Act of 2007 that the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) develop model guidelines for choosing health-
ier sites for new schools. On 17 November 2010, the agency released a
draft of its new voluntary guidelines.
About 1,900 new schools were built in the 2008–2009 school year,
according to the EPA, continuing a relatively similar construction trend
and bringing the total number of public and private schools
to about 135,000.
The number of existing schools in settings that could
be harmful to children is unknown, says Peter Grevatt, director of the
EPA Office of Children’s Health Protection.
The guidelines are designed mainly for use in siting new primary
and secondary (K–12) schools, but the principles behind the guidelines
could be adapted for many other existing and new settings where chil-
dren spend long periods. They cover a wide range of topics, including
toxicity on the school site and from nearby properties; other health-
related issues such as bicycle and pedestrian access to increase student
exercise; maximizing community use of the school; and minimizing
disruption of relatively undisturbed environments.
Jason Hartke, vice president of national policy for the U.S. Green
Building Council, is generally pleased with the congressional mandate
and EPA’s actions so far. “There is a strong need for EPA guidelines,” he
says. “This is another really important tool in the toolbox” for creating
Stephen Lester, science director for the Center for Health,
Environment & Justice, also is generally supportive: “There’s a lot
of good information in these guidelines.” But he says they offer too
much wiggle room for allowing schools to be built on toxic sites,
such as Superfund properties. He’d rather see language that sanctions
such decisions only as a very last resort. That’s important, he says,
because school districts “never have enough money for monitoring and
maintenance,” even if the original planning, design, and engineering for
mitigating toxicity problems were deemed acceptable. He also would
prefer a no-exceptions guideline that directs use of the more-protective
cleanup standard for residential use for all school sites.
A broader concern is that many school districts may choose to
ignore the voluntary guidelines. Interest in environmental health issues
“is very spotty,” Lester says, especially when so many other issues—
including site availability, zoning, and cost—are high priorities. Even
in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design) voluntary certification process for schools,
toxicity issues account for only 10 of the 110 optional points.
The public can comment on the draft guidelines until 18 February
2011. A final version is scheduled for release in late 2011.
Bob Weinhold, MA, has covered environmental health issues for numerous outlets since 1996.
He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.
REFERENCES AND NOTES
1. EPA. School Siting Guidelines [website]. Washington, DC:U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Available:
http://tinyurl.com/2euxzcn [accessed 8 Dec 2010].
2. The EPA can’t set mandatory regulations for siting schools, since local jurisdictions typically have that authority,
but federal, state, and tribal governments can intercede when possible violations of various laws are involved.
3. Abramson P. School Planning and Management, 15th Annual School Construction Report (Feb 2010).
Dayton, OH:Peter Li Education Group. Available: http://tinyurl.com/23en8cd [accessed 8 Dec 2010].
4. A residential cleanup standard is more protective than a commercial cleanup standard in part because it
assumes children will spend more time on the property.
5. U.S. Green Building Council. LEED 2009 for Schools New Construction and Major Renovations Rating
System. Washington, DC:U.S. Green Building Council (updated 2010). Available: http://tinyurl.com/239wyxk
[accessed 8 Dec 2010].
6. The LEED baseline criteria stipulate that old landfill sites should be completely avoided and that
contamination from other former uses should be cleaned up to meet the most stringent appropriate
standard. One point is available for siting a school on a remediated brownfield site, which critics such as
Lester say should be done only as a last resort. Nine points are available for reducing vehicle use to lessen
emissions or increase student exercise via bicycling or walking. Eight points are available for meeting other
site criteria addressed by the EPA guidelines, such as utilizing existing roads and utilities, avoiding 100-year
floodplains, protecting or restoring habitat, and encouraging joint community use of school facilities.
A survey of green product
claims found 4.5% to be
bona fide, up from 1%