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Why I’m a Member

Carl Chapman

Plainfield, Illinois


Photo by Ken Ring

“I’m on my way to the roof of a building right now,” shouts Carl Chapman, over the dull roar of yet another train passing through Plainfield, Illinois. Chapman, a member of Plainfield’s school building and maintenance crew for the past 15 years, has a van full of air filters —2-inch, 6-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch. By the time he works his way through the district’s 30 buildings, changing the air filters in the cause of efficiency and health, “It’s time to start again,” he says. With a blackened filter in hand, Chapman can point to the reasons why preventative maintenance is so important. But he also relies on the facts and figures he learned in NEA’s online Indoor Environmental Quality course. (Check out NEA-HIN to learn more about NEA’s IEQ and asthma-management courses.) It used to be that you’d shrug at a little mold, he says, “but now you’re breaking out your moisture meters and pulling out baseboards. We’re much more aggressive.”

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