Analysis

Government takes softly, softly approach to indoor air pollution

The first major official study of air quality in UK homes was published in May. An accompanying report suggests that the main threats to health from indoor pollution come from nitrogen dioxide and house dust mites, although levels of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds also exceed guidelines set by the World Health Organization and other bodies in a fair number of homes. The Government has retreated from earlier promises to set indoor air quality guidelines, and an unpublished strategy reveals that it will attempt to reduce indoor pollution mainly by advice and efforts to persuade manufacturers to switch voluntarily to low-emission products.

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