A new guide has been published to help citizens and local leaders reduce indoor air pollution during and after the coronavirus lockdown.
Created by C40 Cities, a group of 96 cities around the world, the guide is intended to help improve indoor air quality both now once the current crisis has passed.
The guide is part of a broader effort by C40 to provide relevant Covid-19 resources to cities and citizens around the world. It provides practical steps that citizens can take in their homes and in private and commercial buildings to reduce exposure to indoor air pollution, both during and after the crisis. Key actions that individuals can take at home include:
- Reducing any burning inside the home (such as incense, candles, and wood fires).
- Send fumes/smoke outside by using an exhaust fan that vents to the outdoors, or opening a nearby window/door if no fan is available.
- Minimise the use of home products that can create air pollution such as artificial air fresheners, pesticides, aerosol sprays, adhesives, and harsh cleaning products. These products release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
For those that manage residential or commercial buildings, the guide outlines specific actions to protect building inhabitants, like increasing ventilation, ensuring HVAC systems have high-efficiency air filters and converting gas stoves to electric.
The organisation says recommendations are not intended to replace any local, regional, or national health guidance in the evolving circumstances of the pandemic.
Finally, the guide explores recommendations for city governments, such as bans on open burning near population centres, and implementing measures in the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration to reduce outdoor air pollution.
Shannon Lawrence, C40 Director of Global Initiatives said: ‘By addressing indoor air pollution, we can help protect our health during the COVID-19 emergency, with the added benefit of reducing the emissions that are driving the climate emergency,
‘We hope this guide will empower individuals to address one aspect of their health that is within their control, as we all work together to fight this global crisis.’
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