UL, SafeTraces Launch Indoor Air Quality Program for K-12 Schools

The collaboration combines UL’s indoor environmental quality verification services expertise with SafeTraces’ veriDART solution.

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — UL, based here, is partnering with SafeTraces, a provider of DNA-based technology solutions, to bring to market a comprehensive program for indoor air quality, ventilation and filtration verification and infection control for K-12 schools.

The collaboration combines UL’s indoor environmental quality verification services expertise with SafeTraces’ veriDART solution, which is said to be the first aerosol-based diagnostic solution for verifying ventilation and filtration efficacy for infection control.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is a highly infectious virus that is primarily transmitted via respiratory droplets and aerosols. UL and SafeTraces are working to address this transmission risk with a program specifically to assess and mitigate health and safety risk in K-12 schools, according to an announcement.

The veriDART solution leverages patented DNA-tagged tracer particles that are said to safely mimic aerosol mobility and exposure in order to identify high-risk infection hotspots and transmission routes. The solution is also said to assess ventilation and filtration efficacy and inform remediations with a rigorous science-based, data-driven methodology.

The SafeTraces program consists of a comprehensive building data review, HVAC system inspection, air quality testing, ventilation assessment, exhaust system verification and SafeTraces veriDART infection risk assessment. Schools will receive a final report that consolidates results, analysis, conclusions and recommendations with the opportunity for recurring UL Verification and ongoing support.

“The pandemic has introduced a heightened interest in health and wellness among educators. Ensuring that school buildings support student and staff health now tops the priority list for school systems across the U.S.,” says Sean McCrady, director in UL’s Assets and Sustainability, Real Estate and Properties division.

He continues, “Reducing disease transmission risk is especially important in our schools and places of learning where good ventilation and indoor air quality are imperative.  UL’s collaboration with SafeTraces helps schools address this head on to aid them in creating a safe and healthy learning environment.”

“How do we verify that air and airflow are safe? In the face of a highly transmissible and potentially lethal airborne pathogen like SARS-CoV-2, this fundamental question has never been more important and the stakes have never been higher for our students, teachers, staff, and communities,” says SafeTraces CEO Erik Malmstrom. “Unequivocally, SafeTraces and UL’s program establishes a benchmark for K-12 school safety verification. We’re thrilled to collaborate with a market leader like UL to support such an important mission.”

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