KELOWNA, B.C., Canada - The Healthy Indoors Partnership (HIP) held a panel discussion at the HRAI meeting here, aimed at informing attendees about products used to maintain healthy indoor air.

The discussion also covered partnership opportunities for Canadian businesses whose goal is to create and maintain healthier indoor environments in Canada.

The panel was chaired by Roger Grochmal, owner of Atlas Air ClimateCare, Mississauga, Ontario. Grochmal is also a member of The News' Contractor Consultants. He was joined by Normand Brais, Ph.D., founder of Sanuvox Technologies Inc., Montreal, and Brian Monk, vice president of sales and marketing for Circul-Aire (Dectron Internationale), Montreal.

IAQ Points Of View

"We are the people who have to interface with the consumers," Grochmal said. "Contractors are the front line."

He discussed HIP's national strategy, which includes the following goals:

  • Achieve major health gains and improve professional education.

  • Foster the design of healthier new and renovated buildings.

  • Stimulate nationwide action to enhance and maintain health in existing structures.

  • Create and use innovative healthy products, materials, and technologies.

  • Promote health-conscious individual behavior and consumer awareness.

    Grochmal said maintaining healthy indoor air should be part of every contractor's service criteria with homeowners, especially now. "New-home builders are building inventory for me," he said. "I'll have built-in service accounts for years."

    Brais, whose company manufactures ultraviolet (UV) air purifiers, discussed the use of UV lighting to fight bacterial contaminants.

    "UV can smash DNA and germs can't reproduce," he explained. "It has proven to be successful in control of biocontaminants.

    "If you don't introduce UV into a building," he said, "you are contributing to the growth of biocontaminants."

    Monk, whose company manufactures air purification and energy recovery equipment, discussed use of gas control and filtration to protect the indoor environment from contaminants.

    "We are talking about IAS - indoor air security - not IAQ," he said. "We are talking about protecting building occupants."

    Monk said there are two strategies for preventing outdoor contaminants from entering a building. "You can close off ductwork to all outside air or keep ductwork open and filter out the contaminants," he said.

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    Publication date: 10/04/2004