The Better homes, better air, better health event led by Professor Stephen Holgate CBE at the Royal College Of Physicians was the first stage of a multi-partnered discussion to engage the built environment and medical communities – researchers, policymakers and practitioners – in how to improve indoor air quality. The workshop brought together 62 professionals from across the research, industry, policy and third sector communities. The purpose was to encourage industry and research leaders to think about and inform future action on the solutions and knowledge needs for reducing exposure to air pollution when indoors.
The subject of external air quality was catapulted into the mainstream in 2016, by the publication of Every Breath We Take, authored by the Royal College of Physicians. ‘The health problems resulting from exposure to air pollution have a high cost to people who suffer from illness and premature death, to our health services and to business. In the UK, these costs add up to more than £20 billion every year.’ This report was quickly picked up by mainstream media and politicians and led to Client Earth challenging the UK government to publish it’s air quality plan and, despite purdah, winning this challenge.
The team behind this report is now turning its attention to the subject of indoor air quality, with this first report published in April 2017; Better Homes, Better Air, Better Health. It is suggested that this will likewise propel this area into mainstream media. This is alongside the publication due May/June 2017 of a revised BB101, relating to indoor air quality in new schools by the Educational Funding Agency and NICE commencing a 2 year work programme on defining standards for iaq. All these activities will lead to an ever-growing focus on healthy products and risk reduction from exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds.