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General News    H4'ed 3/3/10

New Committee to Promote the Truth about the Health Effects of Indoor Contaminants

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Message Cheryl Wisecup
Feb 2010 letter to CIAQ

ACHEMMIC is a newly formed group of physicians, scientists, researchers, indoor air quality experts, industrial hygienists, building engineers, advocates and others who are working together to promote the truth in health policy about the adverse effects of mold, microbes and indoor contaminants.

In October of 2006, the late Senator Kennedy requested that the Federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) perform an audit of the current understanding of the health effects of mold. The result from the two-year audit was a report issued in September of 2008 titled "Indoor Mold: Better Coordination of Research on Health Effects and More Consistent Guidance Would Improve Federal Efforts". The GAO deemed that the CIAQ would be the perfect committee to oversee that this endeavor was carried out to ensure all Federal agencies are sending the same, accurate message in the name of public health.

ACHEMMIC is encouraging the EPA, CIAQ, Mold Work Group, and GAO to follow through on the recommendations of the GAO in the name of better public health for people who have been harmed by mold, microbes and indoor contaminants.

On February 16, ACHEMMIC sent a letter to numerous elected officials and government agencies. The letter includes 20 action items requesting specific actions be addressed by these government agencies. The letter also provides quotes from several reports and key statistics regarding this important public health crisis.

The following statements are from the 2009 report by the World Health Organization titled ""Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality--Dampness and Mould."

"Indoor air pollution such as from dampness and mould, chemicals and other biological agents is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. About 1.5 million deaths each year are associated with the indoor combustion of solid fuels, the majority of which occur among women and children in low-income countries."

"The prevalence of indoor dampness varies widely within and among countries, continents and climate zones. It is estimated to affect 10 to 50% of indoor environments in Europe, North America, Australia, India and Japan. In certain settings, such as river valleys and coastal areas, the conditions of dampness are substantially more severe than the national averages for such conditions."

The following quotes are from a 2007 study in Finland.

"At least one in ten, and possibly as many as one in five, cases of asthma among children are linked with water damage in the building."

"It has been estimated that between 84 to 95 per cent of fungus spores and 27 to 46 per cent of fragments can end up in the lungs, and it is believed that the fragments can get into the lower respiratory tracts of small children more easily than that of others."

The statistics relating to the economic impact of health problems caused by indoor contaminants are staggering. The following statistics are from a January 27, 2010 article on Wire Service Canada.

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