The purpose of the series is to acquaint children with the dangers of poor IAQ and how they can encourage teachers and school administrators to maintain healthy IAQ inside schools and homes. Namovich pointed out that the need for education is backed by actions recommended by the U.S. EPA in its report "Healthy Buildings, Healthy People: "A Vision for the 21st Century." The report is available for download at www.epa.gov/iaq/hbhp/index.html.
One of the chapters in the EPA report deals with educating children about school IAQ:
"Educate children on indoor environmental risks by teaming with stakeholders to develop curricula, science lessons, teaching modules, and other mechanisms for mainstreaming indoor environmental subject matter into the nation's formal education system. Teaching children about the importance of the indoor environment to human health will help to ensure health-conscious behaviors in two long-term ways: (1) by developing an awareness of how the indoor environment impacts health and productivity so that children will ultimately be better managers of their own indoor environments as adults and (2) when children adopt environmentally conscious behaviors, the adults in their lives often emulate those behaviors (e.g., recycling)."
The picture books are designed to help children understand about IAQ. Examples of how poor IAQ is linked to poorly maintained HVAC equipment is the topic of the first of the six books, which is titled Smell the Air Everywhere.
Namovich has already shown the prototype, which is available at www.meuiaq.com, to ASHRAE and to the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA). His intent is to sign up sponsors who will pay to advertise in the books. Sponsorship information is available at the www.meuiaq.com Web site.
"This is a total nonprofit venture until we get all six books out. Once that happens, then we will try and make some money off the books."
Namovich said that anyone who is involved in the HVAC industry can be a sponsor. "I want to start with them first because they know more about IAQ than anyone else," he said.
His ultimate goal is to make the learning environment healthier for school children. "Children are our future, it is our responsibility to promote, demand and provide healthy and environmentally safe indoor air in our children's schools, where we work, live and play," Namovich said.
Publication date: 06/20/2005