Praise for indoor air quality guidance


23 July 2019
UK ventilation manufacturer EnviroVent has welcomed the National Institute of Health & Care Excellence (NICE) draft guidance on reducing indoor air pollution and improving air quality in homes.

The guidance, Indoor Air Quality at Home, is aimed at audiences including health practitioners, public health professionals, architects, property landlords, housing associations and members of the public.
The guidelines recommend that homes should have adequate ventilation – whether that be through opening windows or via mechanical ventilation or extract fans to kitchen and bathrooms. They also recommend that checks are carried out to ensure that ventilation units are working properly and have not become blocked. 
Rebecca McLean, marketing and product director at Envirovent, said: “It is very positive news that the NICE guidance advises using ventilation in homes, wherever possible, to improve indoor air quality. Condensation and mould has become a bigger issue in recent times due to improved insulation and air tightness of properties and, if left unchecked, this can lead to health issues for occupants.”

The draft guidance confirms the role that ventilation plays in removing pollutants and improving indoor air quality. Households are recommended to increase ventilation by using extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens when carrying out activities such as cooking, or when using open fires, candles, gas heaters, cleaning products, household sprays, as well as air drying clothes in the home.
NICE identifies that poor IAQ costs the UK over 240,000 healthy life years per annum, with 45% lost to cardiovascular diseases, 23% to asthma and allergies and 15% to lung cancer. It urges close co-operation between local authorities and existing health and social care providers who visit homes to identify poor indoor air quality and, if this is found, then a property should be referred for housing assessment.
For architects and builders, the guidance recommends adopting a 'whole-house' approach to heating and ventilation to optimise indoor air quality and to reduce exposure to pollutants. It also recommends a balanced approach to ventilation, insulation and heating to achieve a good level of IAQ.
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