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Standards and Guidelines

There are many standards and guidelines established by various organizations. These standards and guidelines are continuously being updated and scrutinized. Depending upon the development criteria of a particular organization, different values might be provided for the same item or process.

For Your Home – When it comes to your health and home, there are regulating bodies that exist to help protect both. It starts from the ground up, when your home was first built, all the way to present day and the standards and regulations that protect you and your home. Local and even state authorities inspect your home using codes such as those created by the International Code Council (ICC) to ensure building codes are being met. From the pouring of your concrete foundation (if applicable), to the framing of your home, to the proper insulation and vapor barrier requirements, it is all being inspected to ensure compliance. Within those “checks and balances” are other organizations that have been created to help in the design stage of your home. The American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) helps to establish a “Standard of Care” through the creation of ventilation and acceptable indoor air quality requirements. This directly impacts the indoor air quality in your home, and thus the air you breathe.

For more information about ASHRAE Standards relating to your office visit: http://www.ashrae.org/education/page/851

For more information about the ICC visit: http://www.iccsafe.org/news/about/

For Your Office – Like the regulating bodies that exist for your home, office buildings are also scrutinized for compliance to building codes. The International Code Council (ICC) publishes the International Building Code (IBC) which features time-tested safety concepts, structural, and fire and life safety provisions covering means of egress, interior finish requirements, comprehensive roof provisions, seismic engineering provisions, innovative construction technology, occupancy classifications, and the latest industry standards in material design. It is founded on broad-based principles that make possible the use of new materials and new building designs.

Likewise, ASHRAE also establishes a “Standard of Care” for buildings through various publications such Standard 62.1-2007, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) aims to ensure employee safety and health in the United States by working with employers and employees to create better working environments. Since its inception in 1971, OSHA has helped to cut workplace fatalities by more than 60 percent and occupational injury and illness rates by 40 percent. At the same time, U.S. employment has increased from 56 million employees at 3.5 million worksites to more than 135 million employees at 8.9 million sites.

For information about ASHRAE Standards relating to your office visit: http://www.ashrae.org/education/page/852

For more information about OSHA regulations relating to your office visit: http://www.osha.gov/oshinfo/mission

For more information about the ICC visit: http://www.iccsafe.org/news/about/

For the Environment – The EPA plays a large role when it comes to protecting the environment. The EPA leads the nation’s environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. The EPA works to develop and enforce regulations that implement environmental laws enacted by Congress. The EPA is responsible for researching and setting national standards for a variety of environmental programs, and delegates to states and tribes the responsibility for issuing permits and for monitoring and enforcing compliance. Where national standards are not met, EPA can issue sanctions and take other steps to assist the states and tribes in reaching the desired levels of environmental quality.

In recent years, between 40 and 50 percent of EPA’s enacted budgets have provided direct support through grants to State environmental programs. The EPA grants to States, non-profits and educational institutions to support high-quality research that will improve the scientific basis for decisions on national environmental issues and help EPA achieve its goals.

For more information about the environment and EPA’s role, visit: http://www.epa.gov/epahome/aboutepa.htm

For the Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) – An Indoor Environmental Professional can be loosely defined as an individual who has met minimum qualifications and professional competencies as defined by state requirements and/or industry accepted organizations such as:

Always be sure to check the credentials of those involved in IAQ testing and/or investigations. Be sure to ask for their credentials and/or affiliations/certifications. When a remediation or restoration company is involved in your project, whether it is a home or building, make sure the IEP performing the investigation is an independent third party with no business affiliation to the remediator.

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