Indoor air quality in Dubai to be tested for pollution

March 25 2015
Indoor air quality_2

DUBAI // The quality of indoor air in the emirate is to be assessed.

Published The National, November 

Dubai Municipality will carry out tests in public buildings.

The initial phase will be at 70 sites, including universities, schools, nurseries and health centres.

“The study focuses on the largest segments of society affected, from children to the sick and the elderly,” said Redha Salman, the director of public health and safety. “These groups are the most affected groups in society with poor indoor air quality and sick building syndromes due to their age or level of health, according to the World Health Organisation and the results of studies in developed countries.”

Some people spend up to 90 per cent of their time indoors, according to studies, meaning the levels of indoor pollutants could be higher than those outside, said Sultan Essa Al Suwaidi, head of the public safety section.

“Problems with indoor air quality are caused by a range of factors, including emissions from building materials, technical equipment, permeability of the wall structures, ventilation practices and ventilation rate, building practices and cleaning habits, emissions of products which are used indoors, open combustion and ambient air quality,” he said.

“Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can damage their health, but fewer realise that indoor air pollution can also contribute to ill health.

“Reduced ventilation, too much humidity and the use of chemicals can lead to unhealthy air and affect health and well-being.”

Mr Al Suwaidi said there was no known safe level of air pollution.

“Even low levels of air pollution can have a negative effect on the health of vulnerable people, such as the elderly, children, and people with cardio respiratory problems,” he said.

“Air pollution can affect health in many ways, namely irritation of eyes, nose and throat; wheezing, coughing and breathing difficulties; worsening of existing lung and heart problems, and increased risk of heart attacks.”

In some people, it could result in premature death.

The project is a part of Dubai’s 2015 Strategic Plan.

Indoor air pollution, the causes and ways to deal with them will all be addressed by the study.