Gino DiCaro

Indoor air quality

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, May 20, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On March 17th, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) approved an indoor air quality report that will be sent to the legislature.  This report was developed in response to AB 1173 (Keeley, 2002).  It details health risks, sources, economic consequences and mitigation options for indoor air pollution.  

The report maintains that a comprehensive management program would help protect public health.  The report suggests that reducing indoor air pollution would reduce premature deaths, improve worker productivity and reduce medical costs.  The conclusion is that the estimated cost of unmitigated indoor air pollution to California is $45 billion per year.

CMTA continues to be concerned about the undue emphasis on indoor emissions that present little or no health risks while failing to highlight more significant risks.  Biological contaminants are given only cursory review.  Two recent studies add to the preponderance of scientific data showing that household exposures to biological contaminants are a major contributing factor to the increase of asthma and morbidity in children.  

The report ignores the fact that many of CMTA's member companies manufacture products that play an important role in lowering indoor exposures to biological contaminants such as cockroaches, dust mites, bacteria, viruses, and mold, which cause very significant health problems.

The report also fails to highlight the rigorous federal product safety regulations that govern formulated consumer products and the efforts of manufacturers to assure product safety beyond minimum regulatory compliance.  Manufacturers conduct safety assessments of their products.  These assessments consider both acute and chronic exposures, effects, proper use (according to label instructions) and reasonably foreseeable misuse.

CMTA is concerned that members of the legislature will use the report as justification to ban or limit the use of products whose benefits far outweigh their risks.  A hearing on the issue was set for the end of May and is now being rescheduled for June 9th.

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