A New Concept

1789 WordsJul 29, 20168 Pages
IAQ is not a new concept, consider our ancestors living in caves and the impact from smoke pollutions or in ancient Egypt stonemasons working in the open air were healthier than those working in workshop. Even Biblical scripts refer to the dangers of mould in the home. However, there have been four fundamental developments that have occurred in the last forty-five years (Lee, et al., 1996): • The increased time spent within indoor environments. • The increased dependency on artificial products (building materials and finishes, scents, furniture). • The increased occupancy density (open plan offices, reduction of working space). • Advancements of energy conservation techniques (air tight buildings, re-circulated air, reduced ventilation). A growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. The US’s Toxic Substances Strategy Committee stated that the majority of cancers (80-90%) are triggered by exposure to substances in the environment (Landrigan et al., 2002). According to a 5-year-study carried out by the US Environmental Protection Agency (Greenfield, 1991), peak concentrations of 20 toxic compounds, some linked with cancer and birth defects, were 200-500 times higher inside than outdoors. It is necessary to note that these figures are based on US values and there is a need to exhibit caution in applying them directly to the UK in

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