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Safety And Security

IAQ under scrutiny in NYC

March 09, 2012
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NEW YORK — The city that never sleeps recently released 25 pages of proposed regulations addressing everything from printing paper to cleaning chemicals with the hope of greatly improving indoor air quality (IAQ) in city-owned buildings, according to WNYC-FM.

Highlights of the regulations include a mandate to print exclusively on chlorine-free paper, use only Green Seal-certified cleaning chemicals and select paint, carpeting and other coatings with low volatile organic compound (VOC) off-gassing, the story stated.

Lisette Camilo of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services said, “These standards really do improve the health of both the city workers who come into contact with these chemicals and cleaning solvents and also the people who work in these offices as well.”

The city is accepting public comments on the proposed changes and will hold a hearing where final rules will be issued after 30 days, the story noted.

According to the article, the proposed rules do not affect city schools, as procurement protocols for the Department of Education are administered from Albany.

While “greener” alternatives can sometimes be marginally more expensive, Nilda Mesa, the head of environmental stewardship at Columbia University, says the health benefits of such products more than make up for the cost, the story added.

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