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IAQ announced as a priority for London Environment Strategy

31 October 2017

Deputy mayor of London Shirley Rodrigues has announced that indoor air quality (IAQ) will be a major consideration within the capital's Environment Strategy.

This means it will also be an important aspect within new planning laws for the city, in an effort to improve IAQ levels.

Ms Rodrigues made the announcement at last week's national conference of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

The association's members were encouraged to take part in the ongoing consultation process for changes to the London Plan and share their expertise with policy makers.

She described IAQ as a "relatively new area" to be understood and stressed the importance of gaining expert advice and further stated that improved information was needed "about the risks posed by poor IAQ".

"We are aware that air brought into buildings through ventilation systems can contribute to health problems and we will use the planning system to make sure this is taken into account by everyone involved in building projects, including architects," said Ms Rodrigues.

Further concern was expressed for particularly vulnerable building occupants, such as schoolchildren, after 400 London schools had been identified as being at risk.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan had recently shared data showing that every borough in London had exceeded World Health Organisation limits for PM2.5, the toxic air particles linked to health issues including lung damage, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

As a result, Mr Khan has pledged to spend £875m on air quality improvements over the next five years.

Ms Rodrigues told BESA delegates that the PM2.5 levels were blamed for 29,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, with further implications for children including increased risk of developing asthma.

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