A new guide has been published to help citizens, local leaders and building managers reduce and manage exposure to indoor air pollution during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published by C40 Cities, a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change, the guide is intended to help improve indoor air quality both now and in the future.
The C40 Indoor Air Pollution Guide is part of a broader effort by the organisation to provide relevant COVID-19 resources, and provides practical steps that city leaders, building managers and citizens can take in their homes and in private and commercial buildings to reduce exposure to indoor air pollution.
Some of the key actions individuals can take at home include:
- Reducing any burning inside the home (such as incense, candles, and wood fires).
- Send fumes/smoke outside by using an exhaust fan that vents to the outdoors, or opening a nearby window/door if no fan is available.
- Minimising the use of home products that can create air pollution such as artificial air fresheners, pesticides, aerosol sprays, adhesives, and harsh cleaning products as these products release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
For those managing residential or commercial buildings, the guide outlines specific actions to protect building occupants, like increasing ventilation, ensuring HVAC systems have high efficiency air filters and converting gas stoves to electric.
The guide also explores recommendations for city governments, such as bans on open burning near population centres, and implementing measures in the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration to reduce outdoor air pollution.
Shannon Lawrence, C40 Director of Global Initiatives, commented: “By addressing indoor air pollution, we can help protect our health during the COVID-19 emergency, with the added benefit of reducing the emissions that are driving the climate emergency. We hope this guide will empower individuals to address one aspect of their health that is within their control, as we all work together to fight this global crisis.”
The organisation says recommendations are not intended to replace any local, regional, or national health guidance in the evolving circumstances of the pandemic.
For more information on reducing indoor air pollution, click here.
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