On average, people spend approximately 85% of their time indoors, and 70% in their own homes. Poor ventilation allows substances such as formaldehyde, combustion products and radon to accumulate. The concentration of these substances in the home, school or office often exceeds that outside and can have an adverse impact on our health.
The interior climate is one of the spearheads of the Dutch government’s National Action Plan for Environment and Health. Research reveals that the interior climate in homes, schools and childcare centres is far from ideal. There are significant problems. At the local level, responsibility for ensuring a healthy interior climate falls to the municipal health departments (GGDs). RIVM supports their activities (and those of central government) through research and the development of new instruments. In partnership with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), we performed a study to determine which substances can be found in the air and dust in the home. We have also taken part in a study of the health impact caused by ventilation systems. We continue to research the ‘health burden’ associated with the interior climate. RIVM plays a key role in maintaining the knowledge network by taking part in various consultation groups such as the Interior Climate Platform, as well as various national and international research programmes. The knowledge gained is shared with other professionals, whose attention is drawn to relevant reports in the scientific literature and general media. On request, RIVM will conduct measurements of the interior climate following an incident.