How states can better regulate indoor air quality

children indoor

What’s contaminating our indoor air?

How the air we breathe can help or harm us

  • Lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer.
  • Exacerbate asthma symptoms.
  • Increase student and teacher absenteeism, disrupting the learning process and student performance.

What states can do

  • Setting up state advisory councils to set standards appropriate for states’ needs.
  • Requiring that indoor air quality be measured and the results posted publicly.
  • Setting up a system for people to report health impacts potentially caused by bad air and for the state to investigate these reports and order necessary fixes.
  • Make sure legislation is actually enforced.
  • Have authorities test IAQ and publish reports in buildings—not unlike restaurant health inspections.
  • Educate the public about IAQ and the benefits of clean air.
  • Allow experts to determine what levels of indoor pollution are and are not acceptable.
  • Incentivize building owners to maintain clean air in their properties.

Why we need consistent regulation

What you can do right now

  • If your home has an HVAC system, installing a higher efficiency filter, such as a MERV 13, will greatly improve filtration.
  • People whose homes use natural ventilation rather than central air conditioning can create DIY portable air cleaners simply by attaching a MERV 13 filter to a box fan made in 2012 or later (window units don’t work).
  • Run a portable HEPA air cleaner continuously in a room where people are gathered to keep house guests or coworkers safer.
  • Consider installing a carbon dioxide detector to make sure your home has optimal air ventilation.

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