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GBAC Forms New Educational Working Group for Indoor Air Quality

Seeks manufacturer assistance as it works to provide cost-effective, real-world solutions to the cleaning industry.

The Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, and Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) have formed an educational working group focused on indoor air quality (IAQ) in the built environment. 

The announcement follows the inaugural GBAC Symposium on Air Considerations, which was held last month in Chicago.

While still in its developmental stages, the working group will further expand the existing GBAC-ASL educational partnership announced in July.

ISSA will host its North American expo next month in Chicago.

The purpose of the new GBAC-ASL educational group is to develop toolkits and education programs for cleaning professionals responsible for educational, offices, retail, and health care facilities. The two organizations anticipate the group’s influence will have relevance and impact in communities where health inequity and financial challenges have the highest-burden costs.

This working group is in part a response to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of the “Clean Air in Buildings Challenge,” a call to action and concise set of guiding principles and actions to assist building owners and operators with reducing risks from airborne viruses and other contaminants indoors. The working group’s goal is to provide cost-effective, real-world solutions to the cleaning industry to improve IAQ and the health of building occupants.

“The United Nations General Assembly recently adopted a resolution declaring access to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a universal human right,” said Dr. John McKeon, ASL CEO. “This resolution, along with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) requirements, means that building owners, operators, and managers will need to proactively seek solutions in this area. Our toolkits and education programs will be a powerful resource.”

The GBAC-ASL working group will develop modular-based learning to deliver optimum outcomes for trusted advisors. Planned topics include:
• The medical impact of poor IAQ
• Indoor pathogens; including coronavirus
• What are asthma and allergies?
• In-building triggers.

Key learning objectives include:
• Knowing the importance of language such as IAQ, building- related illness (BRI), and indoor environmental quality (IEQ)
• How dangerous chemicals, biologicals and allergens get into the air and what keeps them there
• Understanding why a “whole of building approach” is needed to reduce the impact of asthma and allergies and how managing a building with IAQ in mind can vastly reduce the impact on building occupants
• Developing a systematic approach to identifying, controlling, and even eliminating the sources of indoor pollutants and allergens
• How creating healthier offices, schools, and homes can have a huge impact on your business.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with ASL to help bring advanced knowledge and information to the entire cleaning industry,” said John Barret, ISSA Executive Director. “As the world continues to recognize the need for IAQ in the built environment, it’s more important than ever for ISSA and GBAC to work with our partners and remain diligent in human health and safety efforts.”

Manufacturer Input Needed

GBAC and ASL are actively encouraging manufacturers who want to demonstrate their ESG credentials to work with the group to establish an initial scholarship fund which will be used to educate an initial target of 2,500 of trusted advisors to learn the key skills involved in improving IAQ through cleaning and to share their knowledge with those less able to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

“Providing timely and relevant knowledge and information to the industry on proper cleaning actions for improving IAQ is among our top priorities,” said Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, GBAC senior director. “Through our combined GBAC and ASL networks, we will work together to further ISSA’s mission of changing the way the world views cleaning.” 

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