IAQ Council Fights Consumer Fraud

The American Indoor Air Quality Council, a non-profit certifying body that operates independent, third-party accredited certification programs for indoor environmental consultants and remediators and residential mold inspectors, has launched a campaign against consumer fraud in the environmental consulting and remediation industries. The council cites an increasing misuse of its certification marks by non-certified individuals and companies and says it is now taking formal steps to halt the misrepresentation of IAQ credentials.

"It's a problem that has been growing for some time," said Charlie Wiles, IAQ executive director. "This campaign represents our decision to address it aggressively." The campaign targets the use of IAQ certification marks by individuals who have never held IAQ certifications, individuals whose certifications have lapsed or expired, and companies who do not employ Council-certified professionals. "We offer the most respected certifications in indoor air quality and we are not surprised that some would seek to trade on our name inappropriately," Wiles said. "The bottom line, however, is that it's fraud--and we plan to fight it."

The Council is formally encouraging certificants and consumers to anonymously report suspected cases of the fraud by making use of its online database of current certificants. This database is open to the public at www.iaqcouncil.org/locator/locator.htm and is searchable by certificant name, company name, or zip code. Updated every Friday, it is a highly accurate list of who is currently certified by IAQ. "If you don't see a certificant listed in our online database, it's very likely that he isn't certified," Wiles said. He added that, to date, the Council has sent letters to about 50 companies and individuals, requesting that Web sites and other advertising materials be corrected. If a company or individual ignores the request, the Council will respond with a certified letter and begin formal complaint proceedings with the company's local Better Business Bureau, county attorney, state attorney general, and appropriate state licensing agencies, he said.

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