The potential effects of climate change on indoor air quality and home health have, until recently, been largely ignored. New research by the EPA is beginning to shed light on the ways in which climate change could exacerbate common home health problems.

At New Living, we thought that the most interesting of these findings were:

  • Leading climate change theorists believe that dampness, moisture and flooding will only increase in the future, including the possibility of more frequent severe storms and hurricanes. This cause increased growth of mold and fungi indoors, leading to respiratory health problems.
  • The increase of hot and humid climates encourage population growth of pests such as mosquitoes and others. These pests can infest our homes, and event pose a threat to our health by carrying infectious diseases such as West Nile Virus and Malaria.
  • While building weatherization helps to regulate indoor temperature more cheaply and effectively, there may be a trade-off in ventilation. Sealing building shut and prohibiting outdoor-indoor ventilation can prevent indoor air contaminants from moving out of a building. The longer these contaminants remain indoors and increase in concentration, the higher the risk is for causing human health problems.

As a city plagued by heat, humidity and erratic storm conditions for most of the year, we already understand how moisture and heat threaten our homes. Houstonians spend more time indoors than anywhere else, but research shows that, across America, indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality. As climate change continues, we will only spend more time inside with increasingly poor indoor environmental quality.

New Living’s fundamental belief that “Everyone deserves healthy buildings and homes” means that we must continue our work to make sure less toxic chemicals are brought into our homes and that home improvement projects are done in the healthiest and greenest way possible.  As research like this shows the correlation between climate change and indoor environmental quality, New Living is also committed to educating the public on environmental and climate change issues.


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