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Climate Change, the Indoor Environment and Health

When we talk about environmental risks to public health, many of us immediately think of issues in our outdoor environment – our air, oceans, soil and streams.

Yet, the U.S. EPA ranks indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health.  With more and more people moving to urban areas, living in smaller confines and vertical structures, indoor air quality becomes an important consideration, as a broad range of health effects may result from exposure.

Currently, it is estimated that unhealthy indoor air is found in up to 30% of new and renovated buildings (Sustainable Building Technical Manual).

What will happen to the health of future generations as climate change increases human exposure to chemical and biological contaminants inside buildings?

John Spengler, Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health & Human Habitation at the Harvard School of Public Health, a leading expert on indoor air quality, addresses the connections between climate change, the built environment and human health in this lecture at Berkeley Lab, part of their Distinguished Lecture Series.

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