ADD2276 Effects of indoor air quality on children's health

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2276
Date signed: 
10 October 2018
Decision by: 
Patrick Feehily, Assistant Director, Environment

Executive summary

Issues relating to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), in particular how poor IAQ affects human health, are not well understood. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is undertaking a project to produce an evidence-based report on the impact of indoor air pollution on children and young people’s health in the UK. This will involve a comprehensive review of the existing evidence and will improve knowledge of the health impacts of IAQ, helping fulfil the Mayoral commitment in the London Environment Strategy to reduce exposure to indoor air pollutants. Approval is therefore sought for a £30,000 grant to support this study.

A systematic literature review will be undertaken, as part of the study, with the aim of identifying, appraising and synthesising the existing evidence relating to the health effects of indoor air pollution on infants, children and young people. The findings from stage one of the study will inform the second stage of the project. This will build on the systematic literature review by carrying out consultation processes with families and professionals and obtaining evidence to develop a comprehensive report.

The study aims to raise awareness of the issues affecting the health of children exposed to indoor air pollution in homes and schools, and to suggest possible solutions and areas where more research is needed. These will then be used to held inform and develop Mayoral policy.

Decision

The Assistant Director approves:

Grant funding of £30,000 to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to support its work producing an evidence-based report on the impact of indoor air pollution on children and young people’s health in the UK.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

An evidence-based report will be produced as a direct follow on from the report of the long-term health effects of outdoor air pollution published by Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCP/RCPCH) in 2016.

The study will undertake a systematic literature review with the aim of identifying, appraising and synthesising the existing evidence relating to the health effects of indoor air pollution on infants, children and young people. The findings from stage one will inform the second stage of the project, which will build on the systematic review by carrying out consultation processes with families and professionals and obtaining evidence to develop a comprehensive report.

The study aims to raise awareness of the issues affecting the health of children exposed to indoor air pollution in homes and schools, and to suggest possible solutions and identify areas where more research is needed.

The total cost to the GLA will be £30,000.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective of this project is to produce an evidence-based report, which will:

• Identify and raise awareness of the issues affecting the health of children exposed to indoor air pollution generated outdoors and indoors; and

• Develop evidence-based solutions focussed on:
• Improving the health of children;
• Attenuating the consequences of exposure in childhood on health effects across the life course;
• Influencing the renovation of current housing stock, and the planning and building of new homes in order to mitigate risk;
• The use of existing and novel systems and technology to further mitigate exposure; and
• Highlighting potential effects of climate change on this problem.

The project will also deliver materials on reducing exposure to indoor air pollutants specifically for children, young people and families, these outputs will support the IAQ policy in London Environment Strategy.

Equality comments

The public sector equality duty requires the identification and evaluation of the likely potential impacts, both Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the “Equality Act”) as public authorities, the Mayor and the GLA must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act comprise age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status.

The GLA has published an analysis on exposure to air pollution which shows that not only are there huge health impacts of pollution but the way these fall on the most vulnerable (children and elderly) means that improving air quality is fundamentally about tackling social injustice.

Consequently, the activities described in this ADD will benefit all Londoners, but due to the unequal impacts of pollution on the most vulnerable Londoners there is likely to be a positive effect in tackling social and health inequality.

Financial comments

Assistant Director’s approval is sought to approve grant funding of £30,000 to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to produce an evidence-based report on the impact of indoor air pollution on children and young people’s health in the UK. This will be funded from Environment team’s 2018-19 Air Quality budget.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Grant awarded to RCPCH

September 2018

Main milestones: Scoping the report

Sep-Oct 2018

Main milestones: Evidence collation

Nov 19 – Jan 19

Main milestones: Report writing

Feb-Aug 2019

Final evaluation start and finish

Sep – Nov 2019

Delivery End Date

Nov 2019

Project Closure

Dec 2019