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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

17 October 2002

New Commonwealth Funding Targets Indoor Air Quality

The Howard Government will spend over $350,000 on new projects to address indoor air quality, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp announced today.

"The Federal Government has committed nearly $1 million over the past three years for indoor air projects, including three new projects I am announcing today," Dr Kemp said.

The projects are:

In addition, Dr Kemp said a major federally-funded, four-city study, which is nearing completion, will provide valuable data on the sources and levels of indoor air pollutants to which Australians are exposed. The study measures people's exposure to various pollutants as they went about their daily lives, indoors and outdoors. Another project underway will develop a national database of monitoring data.

Last year, the Government published the State of Knowledge Report on Air Toxics and Indoor Air Quality. This report provides a significant resource for professionals and the community alike.

"Air pollution is among the nation's highest environmental priorities. By working together to improve indoor air quality, we will enable many Australians to breathe easier. We should remember too that outdoor air has a major impact on indoor air, particularly near busy roads and our new national fuel quality standards will improve both outdoor and indoor air quality," Dr Kemp said.

Dr Kemp was speaking in Canberra today at the launch of a paper on indoor air quality, Indoor Air Quality in Australia: A Strategy for Action by the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS).

"The paper is an important step towards addressing the health risks of poor indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is an important issue for Australians, with many of us spending most of our lives in buildings and cars," Dr Kemp added.

"Indoor air quality is a complex policy issue, dealing with environments ranging from workplaces to homes, with responsibilities shared between environment and health agencies at both the Commonwealth and State levels."

Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400

Indoor Air Projects Funded by the Commonwealth

Published Reports

Current Projects
Project Title Project Description Budget
Personal Exposure Monitoring Measure the exposure of individuals to toxic air pollutants as they go about their daily lives, indoors and outdoors. $561,000
National Database on Indoor Air Quality Research and consolidate Australian indoor air quality monitoring data. $50,000
Low Allergen School Study Compare the health of children in a specially constructed low allergen school and a standard school. $25,000
  Total $636,000

New Projects
Project Title Project Description Budget
Emissions from unflued gas heaters A national study to investigate the impact of unflued gas heater emissions on indoor air quality by monitoring their pollutant levels. $175,000
Air quality in sustainable schools A project to identify all significant sources of indoor pollution that can be found in schools and promote ways of minimising their impact on indoor air quality. $30,000
Personal exposure to woodheater emissions Assessment of population exposure to woodsmoke in indoor and outdoor environments. $150,000
  Total $355,000

Commonwealth of Australia