TORONTO, ONTARIO -- Pollution Probe released a new report today titled Achieving Healthy Indoor Environments: A Review of Canadian Options which outlines the relationship between indoor air pollution and human health and offers recommendations for creating healthier indoor environments in Canada.
Ian Morton of Pollution Probe states "Canadians believe that air pollution is an outdoor phenomenon -- which is incorrect. We spend 90 per cent of our time indoors and indoor environments have been shown to be many times more polluted than the outdoor environment".
Despite strong evidence linking polluted indoor environments to adverse human health impacts, no single agency in Canada has the mandate to deal with this issue. "The gap is huge", said Morton. "We know how to build, renovate and maintain healthy, energy efficient buildings but we rarely do so. We need to have someone responsible for the health of indoor environments."
In contrast to Canada, the US takes indoor environment issues seriously. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rated poor indoor air quality among the top environmental risks to human health. They also estimate that polluted indoor environments are costing Americans billions of dollars in health care and productivity costs. US leadership on this issue has resulted in an aggressive US strategy to remedy unhealthy indoor environments.
Pollution Probe's report Achieving Healthy Indoor Environments is a call to action to bring Canadian stakeholders together - including government, industry, and non-governmental organization representatives - to draft a strategy, suggest improvements and note areas where there is Canadian leadership to deal with poor indoor environment issues. The strategy to deal with problems is being developed on an interactive web-site www.healthyindoors.com, part of Pollution Probe's Healthy Indoors initiative.
Pollution Probe's Healthy Indoors website partner, Cullbridge Marketing and Communications president Jay Kassirer notes "The web is fundamentally changing how we can consult with Canadians. We're demonstrating it is an effective tool to share ideas and work with stakeholders across the country." The on-line discussions are designed to feed into a series of face-to-face meetings scheduled in Toronto, Halifax and Vancouver. The first face-to-face consultation will take place in Toronto on November 8, 2000.
WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Mar 05
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