From Farm to (Operating) Table: Air Quality and Health

Paul MaroldGuest blog by Paul Marold, President of Lydall Performance Materials

Clean air is the most essential resource for life. One could live without food for a few weeks, and without water for a few days; but without air, one would only survive a few minutes, if that.

Clean air is essential for human health and for the health of a massive range of assets in nearly every industry around the globe. Ironically, clean air is also one of the most underrated and undervalued resources in our world. Evidence for this claim exists in the truth that compared with air, the other essential resources for life – water and food – are very heavily legislated.

Unfortunately, air quality and health are threatened every day by a range of sources, and the risks associated with these threats can vary greatly. Some can be slightly upsetting or harmful, while others can be downright reckless. And in some cases, the risk can be so great that it can be declared a public health emergency.

We all know that filtration is an effective solution.

Simply put, decisions to protect specific targeted environments with clean air are made are follows:

  • We assess the risks of poor air quality to those environments and their assets – whether it be people, processes or equipment.
  • Based on the assessment, strategies are put in place to reduce risks and provide certain quantities and quality of clean air for the assets.
  • A monetary amount is invested for the protection.
  • Sadly, the amount invested is often justified based on the return of said investment, without necessarily understanding the real cost of the resource or what is truly at risk.

The value of air quality and health must be considered across multiple assets and in various industries, from agriculture to manufacturing to healthcare. As for human health, poor air quality can affect us quickly – as in an airborne disease epidemic – or very slowly, as in cancers caused by years of exposure to chronic air pollution.

What value would you put on clean air?

Paul Marold serves as President of Lydall Performance Materials since joining the company in February 2016. Paul has over 30 years of experience in the specialty chemicals and materials businesses with over 20 of those years in the filtration space. Prior to joining Lydall, Paul has been Senior Vice President for Growth and Innovation at CLARCOR, President of CLARCOR Air Products, and Chief Operating Officer at AAF International/American Air Filter. Additionally, Paul has held executive leadership positions at Sontara and Ahlstrom.

Paul has been active with INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, for the past 15 years serving on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and is a past Chairman of the Board. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA) and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

Paul earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Penn State University and completed his post-graduate work at INSEAD. He is an avid golfer and cyclist, and he’s actively involved with the Bike to Beat Cancer and MS Ride events.

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