Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Search Results

Improving indoor environmental quality for public health: impediments and policy recommendations.

Authors
Wu-F; Jacobs-D; Mitchell-C; Miller-D; Karol-MH
Source
Environ Health Perspect 2007 Jun; 115(6):953-957
NIOSHTIC No.
20039111
Abstract
BACKGROUND: People in modern societies spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Hence, indoor environmental quality (IEQ) has a significant impact on public health. In this article we describe health risks associated with indoor environments, illuminate barriers to overcoming these risks, and provide policy recommendations to achieve healthier indoor environments. OBJECTIVES: The weight of evidence suggests that indoor environmental contaminants pose significant public health risks, particularly among children and the poor, and the societal costs of illnesses related to indoor environments are considerable. Despite the evidence of harm to human health, poor indoor environments are generally difficult to regulate and not of sufficient concern to the general public. We discuss several reasons for this lack of concern about IEQ, focusing specifically on home environments. DISCUSSION: Economics plays a large role both in political inaction and individual-level indifference. Because little effort has been made to quantify the value of the societal and individual costs of poor housing quality, as well as the benefits achievable by simple interventions, policymakers lack motivation to act on IEQ. Similarly, individual homeowners lack the incentive to remediate homes, as other problems may be more pressing than home environmental quality. CONCLUSIONS: Although the problem of IEQ involves multiple stakeholders and multiple levels of governance, it is possible to establish economic incentives that would set the wheels in motion for action at all levels to achieve healthy home environments. Also important are education and information dissemination on the public health risks associated with indoor environments. These recommendations are intended for all decision makers who have an influence in developing policy to improve indoor environmental quality.
Keywords
Air-contamination; Indoor-air-pollution; Indoor-environmental-quality; Environmental-health; Environmental-exposure; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Risk-factors; Public-health; Humans; Age-groups; Children; Men; Women; Author Keywords: impediments; indoor environmental quality (IEQ); policy recommendations; public education; public health risk
Contact
Felicia Wu, Environmental and Occupational Health, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, A732 Crabtree Hall, 130 DeSoto St., Pittsburgh, PA 15261
CODEN
EVHPAZ
Publication Date
20070601
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
fwu@eoh.pitt.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2007
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008672
Issue of Publication
6
ISSN
0091-6765
Source Name
Environmental Health Perspectives
State
IL; DC; MD; PA
Performing Organization
University of Illinois-Chicago
TOP