Indoor Air Pollution

Background

Clean Air Council’s indoor air pollution program works to reduce the public’s exposure to air pollution while indoors. Most Americans spend considerably more time indoors than outdoors, yet there are few laws that protect the public from exposure to indoor pollution. Indoor pollution can come from natural sources (radon); combustion (carbon monoxide); consumer goods (lead); or personal behavior (cigarette smoke). The impact of indoor air pollution can be acute (carbon monoxide poisoning) or chronic (cancer from radon). The Council works to strengthen indoor air pollutions laws at the federal, state and local levels, educates the public on how to reduce its exposure to indoor air pollutions, and operates the region’s most comprehensive Indoor Air Pollution Information Center.

History

Clean Air Council's indoor air quality work began in 1983 in response to numerous questions and complaints from the public about air pollution in homes. The Council developed the Indoor Air Pollution Information Center, which included fact sheets on kerosene heaters, asbestos, and wood burning stoves. In 1985, the Council, as part of a coalition, successfully persuaded the City of Philadelphia to pass an asbestos ordinance and in 1986 it advocated for passage of Pennsylvania's new Clean Indoor Air law, which addressed smoking in public places. In 1986 the Council began selling radon testing kits to the public, a practice that still continues today. The most significant change to the Council's indoor air quality program since its inception happened in 2002 when it began an educational campaign on tobacco smoke pollution. As part of its tobacco work, the Council has done compliance checks of restaurants to ensure they are following laws concerning smoking in their facilities and has worked with daycare centers to eliminate or reduce smoking on their properties. Most recently, the Council was active in coalitions that led to the passage of smoking bans in the City of Philadelphia and for the entire state of Pennsylvania.
 
Goals
  • Improve indoor air quality for everyone throughout the region
  • Reduce secondhand smoke exposure

 

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