A new guide to maintaining indoor air quality has been published by the Building Engineering Service Association (BESA), which sets out ways school leaders can tackle air pollution.
Public Health England estimates air pollution causes between 24,000 and 36,000 deaths a year – potentially making it the fourth biggest killer after cancer, obesity and heart disease. Although several high-profile campaigns aim to tackle air pollution around schools, the report draws attention to the hidden problem of indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools.
The report – The Beginner’s Guide to Indoor Air Quality – is backed by child health campaigner Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, whose daughter’s death was the first to be linked directly to air pollution.
Studies have found that as much as 90% of the day is spent inside so it is important to consider how to create clean air indoors as well
– Larissa Lockwood, Global Action Plan
“This guide will explain why the air you breathe inside buildings is often worse than the polluted air outside,” said Nathan Wood, chair of the BESA Health & Wellbeing in Buildings group. “It also points out how much more control we have over our indoor conditions and how we can turn our homes, offices and leisure places into ‘safe havens’ from polluted and contaminated air.”
The report explains how ventilation, air filtration, and accurate monitoring of particulate matter are the key to an effective IAQ strategy. It also includes information about the primary sources of air pollution and the contaminants that affect indoor spaces.
“Air pollution isn’t just about the outdoor world. There are many sources of indoor air pollution that can harm health as well,” said Larissa Lockwood, director of clean air at Global Action Plan. “Studies have found that as much as 90% of the day is spent inside so it is important to consider how to create clean air indoors as well.”
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