Scientists and industry leaders are pushing for action on clean indoor air. 

Scientific leaders across disciplines, including health, engineering, and environment, have joined with professional societies to call for enhanced action to improve indoor air quality.

Spearheading this initiative, the Australian Academy of Science, Burnet Institute, and CSIRO have convened a gathering of industry leaders from over 30 organisations. 

The assembly aimed to showcase the critical science supporting the need for prioritising clean indoor air. 

The initiative draws on international expertise, highlighting successful regulatory and standard-setting precedents in schools and public spaces abroad.

The urgency of addressing indoor air quality was highlighted in the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by an airborne virus. 

Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Director and CEO of the Burnet Institute, notes the fact that Australians spend 90 per cent of their time indoors, often in environments where air quality may compromise their health and safety. 

The quality of air in commonly frequented indoor spaces, such as offices, schools, and public transport, has been called into question, with Professor Crabb advocating for clean indoor air as a fundamental human right, equating its importance to that of clean water and outdoor air.

Further emphasising the economic ramifications, Professor Crabb pointed out the link between poor indoor air quality and diminished academic and work performance, highlighted by multiple studies demonstrating the adverse effects of high carbon dioxide levels on productivity and performance in educational and professional settings. 

He called for immediate action, including the monitoring of indoor air quality and the establishment of standards akin to those for outdoor air, to mitigate the negative impacts on health, well-being, and productivity.

Echoing this sentiment, Anna-Maria Arabia, Chief Executive of the Australian Academy of Science, says there is clear scientific evidence of the detrimental health impacts of poor indoor air quality. 

She has called for a shift in focus towards improving indoor air through evidence-based technological solutions, such as monitoring, ventilation, and filtration.