Following the launch today (14 January) of the Government's Clean Air Strategy 2019, air pollution and air filtration specialist, Camfil, says it welcomes its recognition of the effect of indoor air quality (IAQ) on people's health.
The document outlines a range of recommendations that focus on reducing exposure to particulate matter (PM), the very smallest of which cause the most damage.
‘Notable mentions’ include:
•Confirmation that the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently working on forthcoming guidance on IAQ.
•News that the Government wants to raise public awareness of the potential impacts of indoor air pollution, e.g. at home and among consumers.
•Confirmation that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will consult this spring on changes to standards in Part F of the Building Regulations, which relates to ventilation in homes and other buildings.
Mark Taylor, Camfil’s Sales director, said: “Reducing outside air pollution, from traffic jams and exhaust fumes, is of course a priority. What's clear, however, is that the Clean Air Strategy recognises that this is only one part of the story, with a programme of work across government, industry, and society, to reduce emissions from a wide range of sources. These include agriculture, solid fuel burning and the products and materials we use to furnish, clean and decorate our buildings."
Simon Birkett, from Clean Air London (CAL), which works with Camfil to improve air quality in the capital, said: “It is marvellous to find more than 20 mentions of indoor air quality in DEFRA’s new Clean Air Strategy 2019. The strategy helpfully identifies the sources of many different indoor air pollutants, and says that plans will be forthcoming to reduce them.
“What is important is momentum,” stressed Simon Birkett: “Within healthcare, the Change in Air Filter Test and Classification standards issued by the Specialised Ventilation for Healthcare Society (SVHSoc) in November 2018 are an important step, but CAL considers that HTM 03-01, Specialised Ventilation for Healthcare Premises: Part A, needs also to be updated to take in the latest ISO and British standards for air filtration.”
Mark Taylor added: “With air filtration a key step in improving IAQ, another important standard that will help contribute to improvements in this area is the Eurovent Energy Rating 2019, which came into force on 1 January. Under the new Eurovent classification, the demands on energy efficiencies have increased.”
Camfil points out that ‘the UK is the first major economy to adopt air quality goals based on WHO recommendations, going far beyond EU requirements’. Mark Taylor added: “Let's hope that this document marks the start of real action to improve the air we breathe, both outside and inside our buildings.”