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ASHRAE Publications, Activities to Encompass Health Issues

September 09, 2004

While ASHRAE does not make findings as to the health and safety impacts of environmental exposures, its activities and publications should consider and reference findings by cognizant organizations, according to a recent policy set by ASHRAE.

The policy states that “consistent with the ASHRAE Certificate of Consolidation, Bylaws and Code of Ethics, ASHRAE activities and publications including but not limited to position documents, Handbooks, special publications, standards and guidelines, technical and educational programs, and conferences shall consider health and safety impacts where appropriate. While ASHRAE does not make findings as to the health and safety impacts of environmental exposures, ASHRAE activities and publications where appropriate shall consider and reference findings issued by cognizant organizations with the appropriate scope and expertise.”

The policy was adopted by the Board of Directors at ASHRAE’s 2004 Annual Meeting and follows a 2000 decision that ASHRAE would address health issues related to the indoor environment in its standards.

The health issue was raised after a petition approved in 1999 by the Society’s membership required that ASHRAE’s ventilation and indoor air quality standards not make claims for health, comfort or occupant acceptability. A committee was appointed to examine the issue and present its findings. After reviewing precedents set by the Society, including standards, bylaws, the Code of Ethics and guidelines, the committee presented its findings in 2000, including affirmation of the implied policy that ASHRAE standards consider health impacts where appropriate.

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