Report reveals few Local Authorities know if schools comply with indoor air quality standards

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.

Indoor Air Quality in 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.

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