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Indoor Air Pollution Comes Under the Spotlight

February 24, 2016
Public Health

A new report from the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, estimates that as many as 99,000 deaths across Europe in 2012 were caused by exposure to indoor air pollution. Researchers concluded that the combined effects of air pollution both inside and outside the home may be contributing to thousands more deaths than previously estimated.

While faulty gas appliances, radon gas and second hand tobacco smoke have long been accepted as playing a major part in indoor air quality, the authors also found that other items such as air fresheners, candles and cleaning products can contribute. Dr Andrew Goddard, the Royal College of Physicians lead for the report, believes that tackling the problem is not solely a government responsibility.

“This is not just a job for government, local authorities or business – as individuals we can all do our part to reduce pollutant exposure,” he said. “Taking action to tackle air pollution in the UK will reduce the pain and suffering for many people with long term chronic health conditions, not to mention lessening the long term demands on our NHS.”

In 2008, it was estimated that long term exposure to outdoor air pollution caused 29,000 deaths a year, while the latest figures contained in the report suggest that figure should now be in the region of 40,000. Recommendations made by the authors include enhancing the UK’s air pollution monitoring network, giving local authorities extra powers to close roads during pollution episodes and funds for further research into the health effects of poor indoor air quality.

You can view a full copy of the report HERE