Oct 10, 2019
This study looked at the impact of poor indoor climate on child health. It covered the following indoor climate hazards: damp; mould; indoor air pollution; noise; radon; excess cold; lack of daylight. It finds that 30% of children in the EU are exposed to at least one of these hazards. It estimates that the macroeconomic costs associated with children's exposure to damp and mould amount to $ 62 billion over the next 40 years.
The 'healthiness' of indoor environments such as homes, schools and work places has recently received increasing attention and been the subject of publications and guidelines by governmental agencies and the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has distinguished between the following aspects of the indoor environment: thermal environment; air quality environment; noise environment; and light environment. The combination of all those is also referred to as indoor climate.
The objective of this study was to assess the impact of poor indoor climate on child health and to estimate the overall societal costs related to this. For this purpose, the study team has combined a rapid evidence assessment (REA), a multivariate regression analysis, an estimation of the health and educational burden as well as a macroeconomic modelling exercise. While REA looked at evidence from across Europe and North America, the other three tasks focussed on the EU28.
In terms of specific aspects of poor indoor climate, the REA covered the following indoor climate hazards: damp; mould; indoor air pollution; noise; radiation (through radon); excess cold; lack of daylight. In function of the statistical data available, the regression analysis focussed on a subset of these hazards. The estimation of the health and educational burden as well as the macroeconomic modelling then zoomed in on the impact of damp and mould. The modelling also covered an additional aspect, which is the educational and economic impact of poor ventilation in schools.
Poor indoor climate and children: A review of the literature
Quantifying the burden of poor indoor climate on children and their parents
The potential economic implications associated with exposure to poor indoor climate at home and in schools across EU countries
Summary and implications for key stakeholders
The REA search protocol and the inclusion/exclusion criteria
Details on the statistical methods
The macroeconomic model