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How is indoor air quality in your school?

The EU funded SINPHONIE project will soon launch results on the indoor air quality situation in schools and health effects on children. In this first ever European wide monitoring, 40 participating scientists carried out fieldwork in 118 schools in 24 countries, involving around 350 classrooms with 8000 students. HEAL is a member of the SINPHONIE advisory board and participated in the final meeting in Hungary

The quality of the indoor air is important for health and well-being, as we spend the majority of our time indoors. The participants brought together in SINPHONIE, the observatory network in Europe on schools indoor pollution and health analysed the sources of air pollution such as hazardous chemical emissions, bad ventilation or damp and mould problems. They also brought together information on the children’s health status.

Children are particularly vulnerable to effects of indoor air pollution. The 53 health and environment ministers of the WHO European Region recognised this threat to children’s health and committed in 2010 in the Parma Declaration and commitment to act. For the first time, ministers adopted time-bound goals to protect children’s health from a variety of environmental threats. One of the aims is to provide each child with a healthy indoor environment in child care facilities, kindergartens, schools and public recreational settings and make these environments smoke-free by 2015.

SINPHONIE will also provide recommendations for policy-makers on how to improve indoor air quality in schools, including an analysis of guidelines and measures taken in individual EU member states.

2013 will be the EU Year of Air to raise awareness on air pollution and discuss measures to reduce it.

HEAL hopes this Year of Air will also provide many opportunities to discuss policy options and measures to improve indoor air quality and give the issue greater prominence on the EU agenda.

Last updated on 12 October 2012

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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