For more than 16 years now the European Collaborative Action ECA "Indoor Air Quality & it's Impact on Man" has been implementing a multidisciplinary collaboration of European scientists the ultimate goal of which was the provision of healthy and environmentally sustainable buildings. To accomplish this task ECA has dealt with all aspects of the indoor environment including thermal comfort, pollution sources, the quality and quantity of chemical and biological indoor pollutants, energy use, and the ventilation processes, which may all interact with indoor air quality. The work of ECA has been directed by a Steering Committee.
To provide a broader view on air pollution exposure in urban areas, both indoors and outdoors, in 1999 the ECA Steering Committee decided to put more emphasis on the links between indoor and outdoor air quality and to focus its further work under a new title "Urban Air, Indoor Environment and Human Exposure". The focus of the renewed activity is urban & indoor air pollution exposure assessment, seen as part of environmental health risk assessment and also considering the needs of urban and indoor air quality management. The new approach is hosted by and supporting the activities of the Joint Research Centre's Institute for Health & Consumer Protection in Ispra (Italy) dealing with Physical and Chemical Exposure.
This focussed activity will proceed within the broader framework of (i) health and comfort of the citizens, (ii) building technologies and source controls, and (iii) requirements of sustainability, energy efficiency and conservation of natural resources.
Specific examples of the working areas of ECA are:
By addressing such topics ECA will lay the ground for air quality management to minimise exposures to air pollutants. It will thus continue to contribute to pre-normative research needed by EC services and national authorities responsible for preventing pollution and promoting health, comfort and quality of life.
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