UL Launches UL Verified Ventilation and Filtration Program

UL, a global safety science leader, has launched the UL Verified Ventilation and Filtration program. An assessment and verification program combining a comprehensive desktop review with field verification of ventilation and filtration performance via SafeTraces’ patented aerosol tracing technology, the UL Verified Ventilation and Filtration program is the first of its kind to measure the real-world performance of ventilation and filtration for aerosol removal rate in the built environment.

Infectious aerosols, such as SARS-CoV-2, influenza and the common cold, represent a significant threat to public health and safety due to their high transmissibility and ability to remain airborne for hours and migrate beyond 25 feet in indoor environments. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, inadequate ventilation is the largest source of indoor air quality risk, including airborne pathogens. However, building owners and operators could not historically verify, manage and communicate real-world ventilation and filtration performance for aerosol removal in occupied space due to limitations in-field assessment tools.

To address this need, SafeTraces, with support from the National Institutes of Health, developed the first diagnostic platform for field verification of ventilation and filtration performance for aerosol removal in shared occupancy spaces. This program leverages patented DNA-tagged aerosol tracers that safely simulate respiratory emissions and exposure to airborne pathogens. 

“Now more than ever, the public is seeking transparency regarding ventilation, filtration and other engineering controls critical to ensuring a healthy and safe environment,” says SafeTraces CEO Erik Malmstrom. “Moreover, building owners are seeking to verify the performance of HVAC systems, to strengthen public trust, confidence and peace of mind, and to competitively differentiate properties based on health and wellness. The program powerfully meets the expectations of both sides by leveraging market-leading science and technology.”

The UL Verified Ventilation and Filtration program is being introduced as health concerns about reoccupying shared spaces remain at an all-time high. 

“The importance of the indoor environment to human health continues to be a top concern as communities return to shared spaces,” says Sean McCrady, UL’s director of Asset and Sustainability, Real Estate and Properties group at UL. “The UL Verified Ventilation and Filtration Mark empowers building operators and owners to harness the power of science to clearly and concisely communicate a building’s aerosol removal rate while fueling trust with building occupants.”

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