While Government and industry have concentrated on cleaning up the Nation's outdoor air, they have paid little attention to the quality of indoor air in the nonworkplace. Harmful pollutants have been found in various indoor environments in greater concentrations than the surrounding outdoor air. In some cases, indoor pollution exceeds the national standards set for exposure outdoors. Harmful pollutants which have been found in indoor air environments include: higher than average levels of radioactive radon; unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide; formaldehyde from foam insulation; nitrogen dioxide from poorly ventilated gas stoves; and smoking, a major indoor source of respirable particles. Some measures intended to reduce energy use in buildings contribute to the buildup of indoor air pollution. One material qualifying for a Federal tax credit for home insulation is a source of potentially harmful indoor air pollution.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
|Congress should amend the Clean Air Act to provide EPA with the authority and responsibility for the quality of air in the nonworkplace.|
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Environmental Protection Agency||1. The Administrator of EPA should establish a task force which will: (1) identify research activities of other Federal agencies and private institutions relating to indoor air pollution; (2) request and compile available data on indoor air pollution and use this data to inform the public of the problem and available actions; and (3) provide advice to the Administrator on what EPA research and development efforts are needed to deal with the indoor air pollution problem.|