Indoor Air Quality Association Charters First Chapter Outside North America

ATLANTA – The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) is expanding its global outreach, recently chartering a Chapter in India. The new Chapter underscores the importance of improving indoor air quality in the country.

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“Although outdoor air quality has been an area of concern for a long time in India, indoor air quality has become a topic of concern only recently, with the rise in pollution levels,” Richie Mittal, India Chapter Director, said. “People are gradually becoming aware of the health implications of the latter and the need to tackle this hazard. It was imperative to form this chapter.”

Former IAQA President Don Weekes and Executive Director Stephanie Sears traveled to India for the inauguration ceremony and installation of officers. Stephanie Sears spoke on IAQA, member benefits, and the Association’s vision for the chapter. Weekes installed the officers, who are Richie Mittal, Chapter Director; Viswanath Krishnan, Vice Chapter Director; Barun Agarwal, Treasurer; Dinesh Kumar Gupta, Secretary; and Ashu Gupta, Memberships Promotion Committee Chair.

“The event generated a lot of buzz online and interest in IAQA’s presence and activities in India – which is a perfect foundation for a new chapter,” Sears said. “Additionally, Don and I were able to spend time with the chapter founders and officers, establish relationships with them, communicate IAQA’s vision, mission and values, and speak to the responsibility of running a new chapter. These conversations, personal connections and relationships are essential to ensuring success of all IAQA chapters, and especially important for new chapters in areas of the world where IAQA has no prior experience.”

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Mittal said the Indian industry was very interested in the chapter and working to improve indoor air quality.

“We met with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Central Pollution Control Board and the Centre of Science and Environment to apprise them about indoor air quality and its significance for reducing the morbidity and mortality cause by the rise in indoor pollution,” he said. “They are very eager to connect with IAQA.”

He noted the chapter initiatives include developing guidelines for the parameters of good indoor air quality and identification of an effective home air purifier.

While in India, Weekes and Sears also attended the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers’ (ISHRAE) 14th Annual TechFest, sponsored by ISHRAE and ASHRAE’s Goa Chapter. The event featured a full day of product presentations, networking and technical presentations, including Weekes’ presentation on IAQ in the Hospitality Sector. Following the event, IAQA signed a memorandum of understanding with ISHRAE, committing the two groups to the sharing of knowledge.

IAQA recently adopted a Developing Economies dues program, which offers a reduced $99 individual membership for those in India. Alternatively, companies in India can take advantage of the corporate rate for $375, which qualifies all company employees for the member rate on education products and the Annual Meeting. More details on the program can be found online at www.iaqa.org/membership/developing-economies.

The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing practitioners together to prevent and solve indoor environmental problems for the benefit of customers and the public. IAQA was established in 1995 and is the nation’s largest indoor air quality trade association with and chapters worldwide. More information is available at www.iaqa.org/news.