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Breathing Easy: Improving Indoor Air Quality Through Green Building as Public Policy

July 2007

Citation: 36 ELR 10553

Issue: 7

Author: Scott J. Anchin

Editors' Summary: Poor indoor air quality is a significant, growing concern for office workers. Indoor air quality-related illnesses like sick building syndrome impose a variety of personal, economic, and legal costs on both workers and employers. In this Article, Scott Anchin argues that green building in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards has the potential to significantly reduce instances of indoor air quality-related illnesses, resulting in healthier and happier workers, higher productivity, and considerable long-term cost savings. Whether green building will improve indoor air quality depends largely on the support of state and local governments, and to a lesser degree, the federal government and nonprofit organizations. Anchin argues that these organizations should use financial incentives, legislative reform, and education for developers and the public to help green building achieve this goal.


Scott Anchin is a 2007 Juris Doctor candidate and a Master of Arts candidate in Political Science at Case Western Reserve University. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in 2003. The author wishes to thank Prof. Jessie Hill and Catherine Nelson for their insightful comments, Christine and Jack Anchin for their support, and David Anchin for the inspiration behind this Article.

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