- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 19 Jan 2021
Health effects of indoor air quality on children and young people
The growing evidence that respiratory problems in children can be made worse by indoor air pollution in homes, schools and nurseries, has highlighted a pressing need to improve indoor air quality (IAQ).
This is according to a report (Jan 2020) from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Physicians, based on an extensive review of indoor pollution research, evidence from a wide range of practitioners and experts, and conversations with children, young people and families. It presents evidence linking indoor air pollution to childhood health problems such as asthma, wheezing, conjunctivitis, dermatitis and eczema.
Wide-ranging contributory factors detailed in the report include the materials used to construct and decorate buildings, which can be long term sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde, and the design and refurbishment of buildings to be more airtight. Airtight construction can improve energy efficiency but should incorporate sufficient ventilation to prevent the build-up of pollutants.
Dr Andy Dengel, Director, BRE Environment said: “I was very happy for the BRE IAQ team to participate (with support from the BRE Trust) in this crucial and timely report, which benefitted from the contributions of a wide range of stakeholders. The importance of good indoor air quality for health and wellbeing is now increasingly being recognised, and in children and young people the effects of poor IAQ can be more marked due to respiratory and other bodily systems still being in development. Now, as called for in the report, it is time for urgent action by many parties.”
Those parties include people designing, constructing, maintaining and repairing buildings, who the report says (among many recommendations) should be helped to avoid the use of harmful chemicals and pollutants with the support of clear labelling and a national system for control. Professional bodies for design and construction should provide or accredit training about indoor air quality, providing high standards for ventilation, energy efficiency, and reduction in exposure to allergens and pollutants.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Air filtration and clean Indoor air quality standards.
- Air quality.
- Air Quality Taskforce.
- At a glance - Indoor air quality.
- BRE articles.
- BREEAM and air quality.
- BREEAM Indoor air quality plan.
- BREEAM Indoor air quality Ventilation.
- BREEAM Indoor pollutants VOCs.
- Bringing a breath of fresh air to the design of indoor environments.
- Building Research Establishment.
- BSRIA responds to UK Air Pollution Report.
- Building related illness.
- Clean indoor air for healthy living - New air filter standards.
- Ensuring good indoor air quality in buildings.
- Indoor environmental quality.
- Locating ventilation inlets to reduce ingress of external pollutants into buildings: A new methodology IP 9 14.
- Sick building syndrome.
Featured articles and news
Different types of bridges are meant to move.
A logical approach to handling the internal voice of self doubt.
First fashionable in the US, decorative metal has become globally desirable.
Helping communities preserve and enhance historic environments.
Creating comfortable climates despite extreme temperatures.
Study examines how adjustable arrangements can succeed.
Government announces plans to improve accessibility.
Resource addresses pandemic-related NEC4 contract issues.
Incorporating EDI into the provision of fair access.
Government announces global innovation strategy.
An architectural biography. Book review.
The house where the future king of France lived.