Indoor air: the stalling of a major public health problem

Fifteen years after its emergence in the general public, the issue of indoor air is at a standstill. Two Members report on the assessment of public policies to combat air pollution.

indoor pollution

Four months after that of the Court of Auditors, the Committee for the Control and Evaluation of Public Policies (CEC) reports on the evaluation of public policies to combat air pollution. The Magistrates of the Rue Cambon had concentrated exclusively on atmospheric pollution; the two deputies who led the mission, Jean-Louis Roumégas (Europe Ecology-the Greens) and Martial Saddier (The Republicans), enlarged it to the interior air. Research, regulation and public information: both rapporteurs consider that the assessment of the last 15 years is “substantial” in the fight against indoor air pollution. To have.

A study and then goes away

A poor parent of the attention of public authorities and the media, indoor air has recently been the subject of unprecedented investigations. And the first lessons on the extent of the contamination proved edifying. The survey carried out from 2003 to 2005 by the (very young) indoor air quality observatory (OQAI) to draw up an inventory of housing in France revealed that indoor air was, as a rule, more polluted than outside air. In addition to common pollutants in the open environment, there are substances suitable for domestic activities, from detergent to dog collar, from Swedish cabinet glue to Ayurvedic incense sticks. “It is the aldehydes that are the most frequent and concentrated molecules. Xylene and toluene are the hydrocarbons present in all dwellings. “

Single labeling

Since that study, what has happened? Not much, or at an awful slow pace. Three National Health Plans, a plan for indoor air quality and a Grenelle environmental forum later, where are we protecting people, who spend 80% of their time indoors? Only the labeling of construction products on the basis of their formaldehyde emissions and total emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has emerged. The labeling of furnishings and maintenance products is a path full of pitfalls. Nanomaterials, which can be inhaled, are properly declared in a national register, but without knowing which objects they are used for. Besides the few retained values ​​(formaldehyde and benzene),


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