Indoor Air Quality Association Charters First Chapter Outside North America

ATLANTA – The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) is expanding its global outreach, recently chartering a Chapter in India. The new Chapter underscores the importance of improving indoor air quality in the country.

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“Although outdoor air quality has been an area of concern for a long time in India, indoor air quality has become a topic of concern only recently, with the rise in pollution levels,” Richie Mittal, India Chapter Director, said. “People are gradually becoming aware of the health implications of the latter and the need to tackle this hazard. It was imperative to form this chapter.”

Former IAQA President Don Weekes and Executive Director Stephanie Sears traveled to India for the inauguration ceremony and installation of officers. Stephanie Sears spoke on IAQA, member benefits, and the Association’s vision for the chapter. Weekes installed the officers, who are Richie Mittal, Chapter Director; Viswanath Krishnan, Vice Chapter Director; Barun Agarwal, Treasurer; Dinesh Kumar Gupta, Secretary; and Ashu Gupta, Memberships Promotion Committee Chair.

“The event generated a lot of buzz online and interest in IAQA’s presence and activities in India – which is a perfect foundation for a new chapter,” Sears said. “Additionally, Don and I were able to spend time with the chapter founders and officers, establish relationships with them, communicate IAQA’s vision, mission and values, and speak to the responsibility of running a new chapter. These conversations, personal connections and relationships are essential to ensuring success of all IAQA chapters, and especially important for new chapters in areas of the world where IAQA has no prior experience.”

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Mittal said the Indian industry was very interested in the chapter and working to improve indoor air quality.

“We met with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Central Pollution Control Board and the Centre of Science and Environment to apprise them about indoor air quality and its significance for reducing the morbidity and mortality cause by the rise in indoor pollution,” he said. “They are very eager to connect with IAQA.”

He noted the chapter initiatives include developing guidelines for the parameters of good indoor air quality and identification of an effective home air purifier.

While in India, Weekes and Sears also attended the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers’ (ISHRAE) 14th Annual TechFest, sponsored by ISHRAE and ASHRAE’s Goa Chapter. The event featured a full day of product presentations, networking and technical presentations, including Weekes’ presentation on IAQ in the Hospitality Sector. Following the event, IAQA signed a memorandum of understanding with ISHRAE, committing the two groups to the sharing of knowledge.

IAQA recently adopted a Developing Economies dues program, which offers a reduced $99 individual membership for those in India. Alternatively, companies in India can take advantage of the corporate rate for $375, which qualifies all company employees for the member rate on education products and the Annual Meeting. More details on the program can be found online at www.iaqa.org/membership/developing-economies.

The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing practitioners together to prevent and solve indoor environmental problems for the benefit of customers and the public. IAQA was established in 1995 and is the nation’s largest indoor air quality trade association with and chapters worldwide. More information is available at www.iaqa.org/news.

Indoor Air Quality Association Offers Flooding Resources

ATLANTA – As you cover the story of the flooding and its aftermath, please note the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) has resources available to mitigate the damage from storms and flooding. IAQA is the nation’s largest indoor air quality trade association.

Interviews with IAQA can be arranged upon request.

“Dealing with the aftermath of a disaster, such as the flooding in the Baton Rouge area, is very emotional,” John Lapotaire, president of IAQA, said. “Occupants and owners face pressure to quickly find solutions to allow them to resume their normal lives. However, quick and easy solutions to flood damage can cause serious future challenges. These issues need to be addressed by experts with specialized knowledge of water damage restoration and mold remediation.”

Lapotaire notes that issues can include:

  • Health problems caused by improper removal of bacteria, viruses and mold
  • Collapse of buildings not properly dried
  • Fire risk to electrical systems not correctly restored

“IAQA strongly encourages residents and building owners who have been
impacted by the flood to work with a certified indoor air quality professional with specialized knowledge of water damage restoration and mold remediation,” he said.

A complete list of IAQA resources can be found at www.iaqa.org/storm-damage-resources.

To help homeowners and others, IAQA offers its free Find a Pro tool. This web-based tool allows consumers who are interested in finding an IAQ professional to search for IAQA members in their area and can be found at http://ewebiaqa.ashrae.org/eweb/iaqaeweb/findapro/pro.

The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing practitioners together to prevent and solve indoor environmental problems for the benefit of customers and the public. IAQA was established in 1995 and is the nation’s largest indoor air quality trade association with and chapters worldwide. More information is available atwww.iaqa.org/news.

Editors Note: The following news release was sent to media who are covering the flooding in Louisiana.

ASHRAE IAQ 2016 Conference Announces Keynote Speakers, Technical Program Preview, and Early Bird Registration Deadline

ATLANTA – The keynote speakers for the IAQ 2016 Defining Indoor Air Quality: Policy, Standards and Best Practices Conference have been announced. The conference, co-organized by ASHRAE and AIVC, takes place Sept. 12-14, 2016, in Alexandria, Va., at the Crowne Plaza Old Town Alexandria. To learn more, please visit the ASHRAE website.

Vancouver Becomes Newest IAQA Chapter

ATLANTA – “A great team expecting great things” sums up the enthusiastic attitude of the newly chartered Vancouver Chapter of the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). Vancouver and Los Angeles are the two newest chapters for IAQA, which now has 20 chapters in North America.

Efforts to charter a chapter began in 2014. Graham Dick, vice chapter director, said time constraints for those involved stalled the process, which picked up this year.

“I told them that if they could find someone to lead a chapter in Vancouver, I would throw in some time and support to help make it a success,” he said.

That someone turned out to be Mona Shum, who Dick describes as “our fearless leader.” Shum is a local consultant who stepped up to start the chapter.

Together, Shum and Dick found that the biggest hurdle was not having enough local IAQA members to meet the requirements for forming a chapter. So they appealed to the IAQA Board of Directors and staff, saying “’if we build it, they will come.’ They just needed to approve us so we could start…. So they did.”

The first meeting was held June 2, drawing more than 60 people. Dick says they now have sponsors to provide food and to support upcoming meetings.

“In addition to quality speakers and topics, one of the things we want to do that’s a little different is that we will hold our meetings at various unique facilities to give attendees a ‘field trip’ experience,” Dick said. “Our plans are for a facility manager to give a brief tour and explain how they have overcome various IAQ/IEQ challenges. We will give the facility staff free passes to the workshop, and they donate the meeting space and time.”

Since the chapter was charted, it has expanded its officers to include five IAQA members from the area. Others have voiced that since the officer slots are full, they would like to get involved to support the chapter in whatever ways they feel would be helpful. “We have a great team and are expecting great things,” he said.

The vision for the chapter is to expand the reach of IAQ to professionals from design, architecture, engineering, construction, renovation/repair, remediation/abatement, facility managers and maintenance staff and environmental consulting.

“Basically everyone with a stake in creating and maintaining healthy buildings for healthy occupants,” Dick said. “We are currently building our own website and look forward to becoming a strong voice for IAQ in this region.”

The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing practitioners together to prevent and solve indoor environmental problems for the benefit of customers and the public. IAQA was established in 1995 and is the nation’s largest indoor air quality trade association with over 2,000 members and some 15 local chapters. More information is available at www.iaqa.org/news.

IAQA Elects Three to Board of Directors

ATLANTA – The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) has named three new members to its Board of Directors for 2016-19.

Their role on the Board is to help the Association achieve its strategic goals as well as define new paths and initiatives to advance IAQA.

The new members are:

  • Eva King, Ph.D., Director of Scientific Services, INDOOR Biotechnologies Inc., Charlottesville, Va. She currently serves as First Vice President on the Board and as Chair of the Convention Committee.
  • S. Todd Stevens, President/CEO, Landmark Property Services Inc., serving the mid-Atlantic region. He has served on the IAQA Government Affairs Committee and is chartering the National Capitol Chapter.
  • Michael Bowdoin, an attorney, Kingwood, Texas. He has served on the IAQA Government Affairs Committee.

The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing practitioners together to prevent and solve indoor environmental problems for the benefit of customers and the public. IAQA was established in 1995 and is the nation’s largest indoor air quality trade association with over 2,000 members and some 15 local chapters. More information is available at www.iaqa.org/news.

IAQA Elects Two Members to Hall of Fame

Joe “Radio Joe” Hughes (left) and Cliff “the Z Man” Zlotnik (right)

ATLANTA –Two industry experts who spread the word about the importance of indoor air quality across the airwaves have been inducted into the Indoor Air Quality Association’s Hall of Fame.
Joe “Radio Joe” Hughes and Cliff “the Z-man” Zlotnik, co-hosts of IAQ Radio, were recognized at IAQA’s 19th Annual Meeting, held Jan. 24-27 in Orlando, Fla.

“The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have contributed to the advancement of the science and public recognition of the field of indoor air quality,” Don Weekes, IAQA immediate past president, said. “I am pleased to announce the induction of Joe and Cliff to our Hall of Fame, bringing the total of inductees to 10 members.”

Hughes is a longtime member of IAQA and a past member and former vice president on IAQA’s Board of Directors. With over 30 years of experience as an environmental health and safety consultant and educator, he brings a real world perspective to his courses and presentations.

He currently serves as a member of the Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Board of Directors.

Hughes is the president of IAQ Training Institute, LLC (IAQTI). He also is co-host IAQ Radio, a weekly interactive pod-cast on IAQ, disaster restoration and building science issues.  Produced by IAQTI since 2006, the program can be found at www.iaqradio.com.

Also inducted was his radio co-host Zlotnik, who writes a blog with highlights from each episode on IAQ Radio. He has worked in the field of disaster restoration and insurance repair for over 40 years, recognizing the many inherent challenges in the field.

He has worked on thousands of projects from small apartments to high rise buildings, institutions and factories. His client list include: royalty, celebrities and work in Kuwait following Operation Desert Storm.

He was founder and owner of Unsmoke and Microban Systems for 33 years.

The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing practitioners together to prevent and solve indoor environmental problems for the benefit of customers and the public. IAQA was established in 1995 and is the nation’s largest indoor air quality trade association with over 2,000 members and some 15 local chapters. More information is available at www.iaqa.org/news.