Towards better indoor air quality in the European residential context

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognised “the right to healthy indoor air” over two decades ago. Yet little action has been taken at the EU or national level to address the issue of indoor air quality (IAQ). While a number of European regulations and policies aim to improve outdoor air quality, a cohesive approach to IAQ is yet to emerge.

Against a backdrop of increased societal awareness but political resistance to European action on the matter, scientists speaking at the WHO Europe’s recent first conference on Indoor Air Quality have called for a regulatory framework that combines source control, ventilation and concentration limits. The present paper offers an overview of causes of poor indoor air and environment quality, and explores policy challenges and opportunities in the European context.

towards better indoor air quality

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