After the inaugural GBAC Symposium on Air Considerations, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) and Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) announced the formation of an educational working group focused on indoor air quality (IAQ) in the built environment.
While still in developmental stages, the working group will expand the existing GBAC-ASL educational partnership announced in July. 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 U.S. 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.
GBAC and ASL are 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.