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Royal Colleges publish new report on the links between indoor air pollution and respiratory problems in children

                                                Issue Date: 29January 2020

Royal Colleges publish new report on the links between indoor air pollution and respiratory problems in children

A joint report, published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the Royal College of Physicians, highlights growing evidence that poor air quality in indoor environments, including homes and schools, can exacerbate a range of health problems in children.

‘The Inside Story: Health effects of indoor air quality on children and young people’, to which Allergy UK contributed, pinpoints a range of indoor air pollution sources, including allergens such as mould caused by damp, dust and the ingredients of aerosol sprays and cleaning products.  These substances can trigger allergic reactions and exacerbate respiratory and skin conditions such as asthma, wheeze, dermatitis and eczema. As the leading patient organisation for people living with allergic disease, Allergy UK plays a key role in raising awareness of the health impacts of poor indoor air quality, providing information and support to those whose allergies are triggered by indoor allergens.

The Royal Colleges’ report warns that indoor air quality tends to be poorer in low quality housing where ventilation may be inadequate and it provides helpful advice on how we can improve the air quality in our homes. The report also recommends that local authorities should have increased powers to require improvements where air quality fails to meet minimum standards in local authority schools and properties.

It also makes several recommendations for national government which Allergy UK supports, including:

  • The formation of a cross-governmental committee on indoor air quality
  • Investment in high quality research
  • Allocating a national fund to support air quality improvements for low-income residents
  • Legally binding performance standards for indoor air quality
  • Air quality compliance testing after construction of local authority buildings
  • Providing free indoor air quality testing for residents

Carla Jones, Allergy UK CEO says: “Indoor air pollution is a growing concern. Our modern lifestyle mean that we spend up to 90% of our time indoors and our homes can be havens for allergens such as house dust mite and mould. We welcome this report and support the initiatives it proposes towards both recognition of the health impacts of poor indoor air quality and government and local authority action to address this important issue.”

Allergy UK pledged funding for this project as part of its ongoing commitment to addressing the issue of poor indoor air quality on behalf of the millions of people whose allergic condition is triggered by allergens such as mould, house dust mite and cleaning products. The charity provides information on its website, through its Helpline and in a range of free Factsheets on the topic and recently launched its ‘Allergy House’ – an interactive website tool which identifies, room by room, allergen ‘hotspots’.

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Press enquiries:

For further information, please contact the Communications team at Allergy UK.

Tel: 01322 611 655 or email: press@allergyuk.org

 

Notes to Editors:

The Inside Story: Health effects of indoor air quality on children and young people is a joint report published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). It is funded by Allergy UK, Airtopia, Asthma UK, British Heart Foundation, British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Dyson, and the Greater London Authority.

 

About Allergy UK

We are the leading national patient charity for people living with all types of allergy. We work with government, professional bodies, Healthcare Professionals and corporates towards our vision and to help improve the lives of the millions of people with allergic disease.

It is estimated that 21 million people in the UK live with allergic disease. But there remains a gap in healthcare services for those affected by this disease of the immune system. Our mission is to raise the profile of allergy at all levels, with a vision for everyone affected by allergy to receive the best possible care and support.

Our dedicated Helpline is there for people who need our help and support. Our free Factsheets provide information to explain the symptoms and triggers that people with allergy are dealing with.

 

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