The Biden Administration Announces the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge

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The Biden Administration Announces the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge

Last week, the Biden administration, in conjunction with the EPA, released a call to action titled the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge, which highlights a range of recommendations and resources available for improving ventilation and indoor air quality, which can help to better protect the health of building occupants and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. The call to action included guidance principles and best practices to assist building owners and school administrators with reducing risks from airborne viruses and other contaminants indoors.

Key actions outlined in the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge include:

  • Create a clean indoor air action plan,
  • Optimize fresh air ventilation,
  • Enhance air filtration and cleaning, and
  • Conduct community engagement, communication and education.

While the recommended actions cannot completely eliminate risks, they will reduce them. Infectious diseases like COVID-19 can spread through the inhalation of airborne particles and aerosols. In addition to other layered prevention strategies, like vaccination, wearing masks and physical distancing to reduce the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, actions to improve ventilation, filtration and other proven air cleaning strategies can reduce the risk of exposure to particles, aerosols, and other contaminants, and improve indoor air quality and the health of building occupants.

Under each of these recommendation areas, EPA’s best practices guide lays out clear-cut actions building owners and school administrators can implement. The best practices guide is designed to serve as a menu of improvements to choose from. The guide includes quick steps that all organizations can take right away as a starting place, as well as resources to help plan for longer-term investments and improvements. 

You can check out the White House fact sheet here. The EPA press release can be found here. The EPA guidelines are here.