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March 2, 2022

Powered by SafeTraces, UL Launches First of Its Kind Performance Claim Mark for Verifying Aerosol Removal Efficiency in the Built Environment

By SafeTraces, Inc.
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The program provides building owners and operators a groundbreaking solution to meet increasing public demands for healthy spaces by leveraging market-leading science and technology.

PLEASANTON, Calif., March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — SafeTraces is proud to announce the launch of the UL Verified Ventilation and Filtration program. Leveraging SafeTraces’ patented aerosol tracing technology, this assessment and verification program combines a comprehensive desktop review with field verification of ventilation and filtration performance. The UL Verified Ventilation and Filtration program, powered by SafeTraces, 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.

“The importance of the indoor environment to human health continues to be a top concern as communities return to shared spaces,” said Sean McCrady, UL’s director of Asset and Sustainability, Real Estate and Properties group. “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.”

“Now more than ever, the public is seeking transparency regarding ventilation, filtration and other engineering controls critical to ensuring a healthy and safe environment,” said 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 verification mark is intended to clearly communicate that ventilation and filtration controls in high density areas of buildings provide exposure risk reduction. Every real estate owner and operator can benefit from this program in a very big way.”

The UL Verified Ventilation and Filtration program, powered by SafeTraces, is being introduced as health concerns about reoccupying shared spaces remain at an all-time high, with some polls indicating nearly 90% of the public have concerns about workplace safety. A major impetus for the program came from corporate, commercial, and institutional real estate owners and operators seeking to enhance, communicate, and differentiate on indoor air quality (IAQ), ventilation, and filtration with direct financial implications linked to health & safety, capital and operating expenditure, and sustainability.