Protecting IAQ Through Cleaning And Maintenance

A report, recently posted on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), finds that "climate change may worsen existing indoor environmental problems and indoor air quality (IAQ)."

One reason for this is the fact that we spend 90 percent of our time in an indoor environment such as a school, office, factory, or home. However, most of these buildings were built to meet environmental conditions at the time of construction, conditions that are changing rapidly due to climate change. 

Because of this, one of the most effective ways to protect IAQ and adjust to changing environmental conditions is "the operation and maintenance of buildings," according to the EPA.

The EPA report states that there are three broad approaches to help moderate indoor air pollution as climate changes advances.  These are:

1. Source control
2. Ventilation
3. Air cleaning systems.

"There is not a lot that the professional cleaning industry can do about improving ventilation or installing air cleaning systems," says Mike Sawchuk, Chief Business Development Officer for Avmor, a leading manufacturer and marketer of professional cleaning products in North America. 

"But there are many things we can do when it comes to source control and it all starts with the cleaning chemicals we select."

According to Sawchuk, green-certified cleaning chemicals introduced over the past decade have dramatically reduced the number of volatile organic compounds and other harmful chemical emissions released into the air.

However, times are changing and we cannot rest on past laurels, according to Sawchuk. 

"Of the major green-certification organizations, [at this time] only Green Guard has raised the bar, taking a very focused look at the impact of cleaning chemicals on IAQ.  With climate change advancing, this is something all of the major certification organizations should be doing." 

Until then, he recommends using green certified products that are "dual certified" with Green Guard.
Sawchuk adds that in the past few years, the leading green certification organizations have been moving in different directions, specializing on different products and industries.

"No matter what directions they take, IAQ is an issue they must always stay focused on...and this is going to be even more important in coming years."