A new updated report from Clean Air in London reveals that few local authorities know if their buildings use regularly maintained air filters that comply with indoor air quality standard EN 13779, particularly schools.
CAL REPORT: Air filtration in public buildings in London, Updated 24 November 2012
Indoor air quality (IAQ) can be worse than outdoor (or ambient) air quality (AAQ) due to the many sources of pollution within buildings and homes. Clean Air in London (CAL) is therefore campaigning to build public understanding of indoor air quality, initially in London, with support from Camfil Farr.
This report examines the issue of air filtration in public buildings in London. It includes the results of an Environment Information Regulations request to local, regional and central Government bodies asking ‘which buildings owned, occupied or managed by the Local Authority use regularly maintained air filters that comply fully with European guideline EN 13779 e.g. offices and schools’. The responses received have been analysed and ranked.
The Greater London Authority Group (GLA Group) has detailed knowledge of its buildings. For example, Transport for London (TfL) confirmed that seven buildings in its ‘Head Office Portfolio’ were due to comply fully with EN 13779 by April 2012 with eight others in 2012/2013. CAL has been surprised to discover a big difference among the 33 local authorities in London in terms of how much they know about indoor air quality standards in their buildings. Some have been able to provide quite detailed information on compliant buildings whilst others seem to have little idea of which buildings comply with EN 13779. Many local authorities have told CAL they do not know about compliance with EN 13779 in some or all of their schools because they are independently managed.
CAL is therefore encouraging the London Assembly to investigate IAQ with a particular focus on health and energy savings. The investigation should consider buildings with existing mechanical ventilation and others where standalone or ducted air filtration may be needed. There is a tremendous opportunity to improve public health and save energy Note 1 and money through the use of regularly maintained air filters that comply fully with EN 13779.
Read the full report here.
The award winning BBC documentary programme File on 4 has recently produced a timely documentary on the health threat of toxic air pollution from increased traffic.
You can listen to the File on 4 documentary here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lhgyn
Professor Frank Kelly of the Environmental Research Group at Kings College London says:
Ten to twenty times more particles” are produced by modern diesel cars compared to petrol cars. ” We have more than 1 in 2 private cars now being purchased as being a diesel vehicle.
Research by Dr. James Tate of the Institute for Transport Studies at Leeds University has shown that there has been an increase in emissions of oxides of Nitrogen from the latest generation of diesel cars. Sometimes these emissions are five times the expected levels.
The health damage caused by fine combustion particulates and gas pollutants like Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) has been highlighted in a recent emphatic statement from the World Health Organisation. (WHO).
Professor Frank Kelly also says:
It is now recognised that air pollution is the second biggest public health challenge we have after smoking, so this is a major cost driver to our NHS system.
For those that do not smoke a recent 2010 report from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee compared exposure to man-made PM2.5 (Fine combustion particulate 2.5 microns and below in size) with passive smoking and found exposure to PM2.5 to be three times more damaging to health.
In Sweden, we recently inaugurated one of the largest R&D centres in the world for the development of air filters, clean air solutions and filter production technology. The new facility – the Tech Centre – is located 70 km south of Stockholm in the Baltic coastal town of Trosa.
Simon Birkett (center) founder and Director of Clean Air in London takes a closer look at one of the test rigs during the guided tour. From the left David Moulton (Camfil UK), Isto Salonen (Camfil Finland) and Peter Dyment (Camfil UK) to the right.
The centre develops products with the latest laboratory and research equipment to meet a growing global need for air filtration solutions that safeguard health, satisfy stricter energy efficiency and sustainability standards, and meet emerging needs for high-tech filtration using the latest nano-fibre technology. The latter includes researching new polymer technology for developing new and more effective filter material, including hybrid media. Air filtration experts at the centre also analyse air quality and how it impacts human health and production processes.
The opening ceremony in Trosa, held in late October, was hosted by Anders Freyschuss, Managing Director of Camfil Sweden and Anders Sundvik, Camfil Farr’s Vice President for R&D. Per Westerberg, Speaker of the Swedish Riksdag, inaugurated the centre. Camfil Farr’s Road Show trailer was also on location in Trosa for the event. This unique travelling mobile lab and exhibition has been touring Europe to spread knowledge about the importance of filtration and filters, and the benefits for IAQ and health – all in line with Camfil Farr’s vision to make clean air a human right.