The American Indoor Air Quality Council (IAQ Council) has launched a campaign against consumer fraud in the environmental consulting and remediation industries. In response to increasing misuse of its certification marks by uncertified individuals and companies, the IAQ Council is now taking formal steps to halt the misrepresentation of IAQ Council credentials. “It’s a problem that has been growing for some time,” said Charlie Wiles, IAQ Council executive director. “This campaign represents our decision to address it aggressively.”
The campaign targets the use of IAQ Council certification marks by individuals who have never held IAQ Council certifications, individuals whose certifications have lapsed or expired, and companies who do not employ Council-certified professionals.
“We offer the most respected certifications in indoor air quality and we are not surprised that some would seek to trade on our name inappropriately,” said Wiles. “The bottom line, however, is that it’s fraud and we plan to fight it.”
The IAQ Council has formally encouraged certificants and consumers to anonymously report suspected cases of consumer fraud by making use of its online database of current certificants. This database is open to the public and is searchable by certificant name, company name, or zip code. Updated every Friday, it is a highly accurate list of who is currently certified by the IAQ Council, said Wiles.
“If you don’t see a certificant listed in our online database, it’s very likely that he isn’t certified,” he said.
The IAQ Council has sent letters to approximately 50 companies and individuals to date, requesting that Websites and other advertising materials be corrected. If a company or individual has ignored the request, the IAQ Council will respond with a certified letter and begin formal complaint proceedings with the company’s local Better Business Bureau, county attorney, state attorney general, and appropriate state licensing agencies, said Wiles.
“We owe it to our certificants to protect the integrity and credibility of their designations,” said Wiles. “We will take every step necessary to fulfill this obligation.”
The IAQ Council operates independent, third-party accredited certification programs for indoor environmental consultants, microbial consultants, microbial remediators, IAQ administrators, and residential mold inspectors. The IAQ Council certifies more than 5,000 professionals in the United States, Canada, and overseas.
As of Jan. 1, 2006, the council is a part of the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). As part of a new unification agreement and the Indoor Environmental Standards Organization (IESO), the council no longer offers membership services, but instead focuses exclusively on certification programs.
For more information, visit www.iaqcouncil.org.