Health Impacts

Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors where the air quality can be many times more polluted than ambient air due to product emissions, mold growth, and a myriad of other sources [30]. Therefore there is a concern for any future increase in time spent indoors due to increasing outdoor temperatures and the effects this increased time has on human health. The possibility of emissions from materials combined with increased building tightness increases the potential exposure to harmful air pollutants if not properly addressed. The level of exposure is difficult to quantify as it will vary by region, building age and a myriad of other parameters. While current U.S. EPA policy is to avoid regulation of materials brought into the American home, policy has been shifting towards increasing public knowledge to create a well-informed consumer through federally funded programs such as Energy Star, Water Sense, and Design for the Environment. Certainly, global climate effects on the indoor environment and the occupants therein have been a topic of interest both in the academic and government communities [9, 10, 31, 32]. Unfortunately, limited research exists for climate change impacts on the indoor environment, as discussed by Nazaroff [33] "It is noteworthy that studies of energy use in buildings and related climate impacts often fail to make evident the clear linkages of these issues with indoor environmental quality and health."

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