Reduce the impact of exterior environmental pollution in southwestern Pennsylvania to improve healthy and energy efficient indoor environments where we live, work, and learn
1) Create a collective vision
2) Develop the knowledge and capacity of organizations and individuals
3) Catalyze collaboration within a community of stakeholders
1) Support and broaden the ROCIS stakeholder network
2) Begin to establish a baseline (indoor/outdoor pollutants) and data to support the feasibility of interventions
3) Address barriers to implementation, particularly regarding the lack of tested protocols for interventions
Americans and Canadians spend most of their time indoors, primarily in residential or commercial/institutional settings. Health concerns regarding the indoor environment reflect the impacts of both indoor and outdoor pollutant sources. Rather than viewing indoor and outdoor pollution as two separate public health concerns, ROCIS views them as closely related. The following core principles guide the ROCIS initiative:
While the source of indoor air pollutants may originate from the indoors and/or outdoors, ROCIS is concerned about the situations where outdoor air is a significant threat to health indoors.
Source control is the ideal method of managing health concerns from all pollutants. Reducing the pollutant load that comes from industrial or highway sources (for instance) is usually not feasible for an individual building owner.
Identifying most outdoor pollutants (other than by smell or smoke) is difficult. Pollutants vary considerably over space and time. Some follow daily cycles, some are seasonal, and others are in response to weather conditions.
Children and people with respiratory health issues are particularly susceptible.
Low-income families are often faced with substandard houses, proximity to pollutant sources, and unaffordable mitigation measures.
Continued research is needed to clarify health impacts related to the environmental sources, particularly interactive effects.
Inexpensive, yet accurate, detectors are necessary to measure pollutant levels indoors. If these are not available, then there should be a method to facilitate equipment loans or community monitoring.
Systems to reduce exposure to pollutants can have an energy cost, but they also have the potential to be an integral part of a comprehensive energy use reduction effort.
There is a critical need to demonstrate solutions, incorporating continual improvement to assess effectiveness and to refine guidance.
Conclusions about mitigation effectiveness should be widely disseminated - to improve indoor air quality in houses and buildings with similar problems.
Thank you to our PARTNERS !
A Special Thank You to The Heinz Endowments for its support of the ROCIS
(Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces) initiative!
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