Indoor Air Quality Group Fights Consumer Fraud

The American Indoor Air Quality Council has launched a campaign against consumer fraud in the environmental consulting and remediation industries. In response to increasing misuse of its certification marks by non-certified individuals and companies, the council is now taking formal steps to halt the misrepresentation.

"It's a problem that has been growing for some time," said Charlie Wiles, IAQ Council executive director. "This campaign represents our decision to address it aggressively."

The campaign targets the use of certification marks by individuals who have never held IAQ Council 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," said Wiles. "The bottom line, however, is that it's fraud – and we plan to fight it."

The council has formally encouraged certificants and consumers to anonymously report suspected cases of consumer fraud by making use of its online database of current certificants. This database is open to the public at http://www.iaqcouncil.org/locator/locator.htm and is searchable by certificant name, company name or ZIP code.

"If you don't see a certificant listed in our online database, it's very likely that he isn't certified," said Wiles. The council has sent letters to approximately 50 companies and individuals to date, 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.

"We owe it to our certificants to protect the integrity and credibility of their designations," said Wiles. "We will take every step necessary to fulfill this obligation."

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