EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF ALLERGY AND AIRWAYS DISEASES PATIENTS' ASSOCIATIONS
EFA (European Federation of Allergy and airways diseases patients' associations) is an umbrella organisation, which at European level represents 39 national patients’ associations in 25 European countries. EFA is dedicated to making Europe a place where people with allergies, asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease):
- Have the right to the best quality of care and a safe environment
- Live uncompromised lives
- Are actively involved in all decisions influencing their health
WHY IS INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPORTANT TO EFA?
64 million students and 4.5 million teachers are affected by bad indoor air quality in Europe. Breathing is a prerequisite of life. Depending on regional culture and outdoor climate, Europeans spend most of their time in indoor environments. To breathe, healthy indoor air is therefore considered a fundamental right by the WHO (World Health Organisation).
EFA was an associated partner of the HealthVent project (2010) under the second program of Community Action in the field of health.
WHY DO WE SUPPORT EFA?
EFA believes "As required by the seventh environment action programme, the European Union should adopt a comprehensive strategy on Indoor Air Quality to identify current gaps and propose next steps in order to tackle the negative consequences of poor air indoors. Indoor Air Quality considerations should be included in all policies developed by the European Union, namely in health, environment, energy, climate change, research and single market legislations."
In relation to ventilation, the EFA recommends that building owners/occupants should receive a detailed guide on how to maintain their ventilation systems so they can control their own IAQ for comfort and cleanliness. EFA aims for clearer regulations which explain who has the responsibility for coping with mould and dampness due to poor ventilation and/or water leakages. IAQ is not, and should not be, the Cinderella of the air pollution field. 2 million healthy lives are lost in the EU every year due to poor indoor air quality. As such, this issue needs to be properly regulated to guarantee that everyone has the fundamental right to breathe healthy indoor air.