US EPA launches “Clean Air Buildings Challenge” to improve IAQ

Written on: March 21, 2022 by ICM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently launched the “Clean Air Buildings Challenge,” a call to action and a set of guiding principles and best practices to assist building owners and operators with reducing risks from airborne viruses and other contaminants indoors.

The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge offers recommendations and resources to improve ventilation and indoor air quality (IAQ), which can help to better protect the health of building occupants and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread, EPA said. These could be applicable to residential apartment buildings.

Key actions outlined in the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge include:

  • Create a clean indoor air action plan,
  • Optimize fresh air ventilation,
  • Enhance air filtration and cleaning, and
  • Conduct community engagement, communication and education.

While the recommended actions cannot completely eliminate risks, they will reduce them, EPA said. Infectious diseases like COVID-19 can spread through the inhalation of airborne particles and aerosols. In addition to other layered prevention strategies, like vaccination, wearing masks and physical distancing to reduce the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, actions to improve ventilation, filtration and other proven air cleaning strategies can reduce the risk of exposure to particles, aerosols, and other contaminants, and improve indoor air quality and the health of building occupants.

The EPA said the guidance may be updated to reflect the most current best practices as the science and consensus advice evolves.

Find the “Clean Air in Buildings Challenge” document here: