SURREY, England, November 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) reports that poor indoor air can cause ill health and disease, and that "no single government department has ownership of this issue." Simultaneously, Asthma UK unveiled research that named indoor triggers that cause asthma in the first place.
These two significant reports have delighted a family who have fought a 12year battle to bring forward this issue.
"And it's about time too," says the family's spokesman, "This year the Department of Health estimated the combined cost of COPD and asthma to be nearly GBP5 billion per annum. (DoH, COPD Consultation, April 2010) and it's expected to rise."
The family were contributors to POST's recent publication (POSTnote 366, Nov.2010), which points out to MPs that poor indoor air quality is an under-appreciated, yet major source of pollution known to cause poor health and disease.
- The main health effects are to heart and lungs - Most at risk are developing children and adults who are already ill - Moulds and house dust mites worsen asthma and cause wheezing - One in five children carry an inhaler, one in four pre-schoolers wheeze - The extent to which indoor air pollutants affect health is not fully known
POST is concerned that too much emphasis has been placed on researching outdoor pollution, with not enough scrutiny indoors.
In support, Asthma UK weighs in with new research describing how common dust found indoors from house dust mites, dogs, cockroaches and peanuts, can begin an immune cascade towards allergy and asthma. (Asthma Magazine, Nov. 2010, p.9) "Important cells sample the air we breathe in and decide whether or not to activate an immune response."
Again the family was delighted, "This immune 'testing' can also be seen in our educational animation on http://www.housedustmite.com. By combining both the research and the animation, patients can see and read how a tiny immune mechanism can trigger allergy and asthma. In this way some of the mystery can be taken out of the misery."
Asthma UK's Chief Executive Neil Churchill called the animation, "a fun and creative way to communicate about dust mites."
Taken together, POST, Asthma UK and the family's website deliver a strong message that cannot be ignored. The indoor environment needs monitoring.
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