In response to recently proposed changes to the LEED Rating System, the GreenGuard Environmental Institute has launched a public campaign urging the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to strengthen its credit requirements for low-emitting interiors.

“One of the biggest problems with the proposed credit is that it calls for limits on only a fraction of all potentially hazardous compounds-those identified by California as having ‘Chronic Reference Exposure Levels,’ or CRELs,” explained Mark Rossolo, director of public affairs at the GreenGuard Environmental Institute. “Unfortunately, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other potentially toxic compounds and complex mixtures that don’t have CRELs but that still get released into the air from products.”

The credit as currently proposed also does not account for the total level of all volatile organic compounds combined, known as TVOC. Since the potential health implications of exposure to chemicals that have combined, or synergized, are not fully understood, a limit on TVOC would serve as a precautionary measure. Moreover, a limit on TVOC would help minimize exposure to the myriad other chemicals that don’t have CRELs, according to Rossolo.

The ‘I Pledge’ Campaign, launched by the GreenGuard Environmental Institute, encourages green building and design professionals to take action by submitting a public comment to the USGBC in favor of more stringent product emissions requirements.

Supporters of the campaign can visit www.greenguard.org/pledgeand commit to publicly voicing their concerns over the proposed LEED rating system changes. All they have to do is copy GreenGuard’s template letter and follow the simple submission instructions online. Or, if they prefer, they can write their own comments echoing GreenGuard’s concerns.