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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Indoor air quality at home. NICE guideline 149. 2020. (accessed 31 January 2020)

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The importance of improving indoor air quality to help reduce asthma attacks

02 March 2020
Volume 1 · Issue 1


Two recent reports have warned about the importance of good air quality and issued advice on improving it in the home and school environments. This is a key consideration for children and young people with asthma, for whom air pollutants may worsen symptoms and trigger asthma attacks.

In January, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2020) published a new guideline aimed at improving air quality in the home to improve health outcomes in vulnerable groups. The guidance states: ‘Good evidence showed that exposure to poor indoor air quality is linked to a range of health problems. This includes respiratory conditions such as a cough, wheezing or asthma, and allergic symptoms such as a runny nose or eye irritation. Certain groups are more vulnerable, either because of their personal circumstances or because of where they live. Because poor indoor air quality at home is a hidden health threat, raising awareness is a first step in reducing the risk of long-term health issues, especially for vulnerable groups.’

The guidance is aimed at public health professionals and its committee noted local authorities' duty of care.

This publication was followed more recently by a report on indoor air pollution published by The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) (2020), which presents evidence linking poor indoor air quality to respiratory problems among children.

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