Outdoor air pollution typically gets significantly more attention than the quality of air inside of buildings, where people actually spend about 90 percent of their time. Ironically, according to the EPA, indoor air can be up to 2-5 times more polluted — and in some cases up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. This is especially concerning in school environments where exposure to allergens, such as dust mites, pests and molds, plays a role in triggering asthma symptoms.
“Allergens, chemicals and other pollutants are common in schools and they can impact the health, comfort, attendance and performance of students, faculty and staff,” said Joe Albright, vice president, technical services facilities management schools, Sodexo. “Asthma is one of the most common serious chronic diseases of childhood, affecting more than 6 million children, and attributing to more than 10 million missed school days. By ensuring that 100 percent of our facility management (FM) directors complete EPA’s IAQ Master Class Training Series, we can further assist school clients in addressing this important health issue.”
Sodexo has announced that its directors of FM in the K-12 schools the company serves across the U.S. have completed the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Master Class Professional Training Series. Sodexo is the first contract services company to require the EPA training to ensure that all of its facility directors are equipped to manage IAQ in schools. The Sodexo facility directors that have completed the entire IAQ Master Class Training Series represent nearly 80 percent of all FM professionals that have completed the EPA training series to date.
In K-12 schools, Sodexo helps school districts reduce operating costs and enhance the quality of the learning environment through employee training, processes, and technology to deliver quality services with savings to the community. Its managers overseeing facilities management in schools are required to take EPA professional training courses. In addition, Sodexo requires its facilities directors to complete the IAQ Master Class Training Series to become EPA-trained “masters of indoor air quality.” Other Sodexo employees also are assigned appropriate levels of training.
The EPA professional training course work provides education from basic orientation to detailed knowledge in ventilation, particulate suspension, filtration and other aspects of indoor air quality. Sodexo will augment its standards and processes to incorporate learnings and its client sites will benefit from the acquired expertise, monitoring equipment, and other tools used to implement best practices.