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The greener clean: Skaneateles schools host buildings and grounds event

How green is your air? Can you be a greener cleaner?

Those two questions were posed during various workshops at Skaneateles High School as members of more that 30 school buildings and grounds departments around Central New York met for the Superintendents of Buildings and Grounds Association Mid-State Chapter 13th annual trade show.

The show included information on new products and greener ways to go about the daily rituals of cleaning and caring for school buildings.

During the workshop "How green is your air?" with Bob Krell, president of IAQ Technologies in Syracuse, the group of buildings and grounds employees were given information about LED -- or light emitting diodes -- versus ballast base lighting technology. According to Krell, LED technology has to be changed less frequently at about once every 10 years.

With only 30 minutes per workshop, Krell quickly went through a PowerPoint slideshow touching on radon, air infiltration, moisture problems, lead paint and asbestos.

"In a school environment there's a lot more at stake than mold," Krell said.

Custodians and others have to be aware of the paints, plaster, art products and dry erase markers, along with the solvents used to clean various surfaces in the schools.

"People have a tendency to get hysterical about indoor environmental issues," Krell said.

Along with talking about how green the air is inside, he also discussed various myths about going green. The first myth is indoor air quality, also known as indoor environmental quality, versus energy, which involves cutting costs.

Krell said the terminology is changing "because it's not just air anymore that people need to be conscious of -- it's also lights and sounds."

The second myth is that going green will take all your green because it's based on the premise of the "triple win," meaning the companies involved need to be making money and the green product need to be good for the environment.

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