From a March 25, 2014 press release by the World Health Organization (WHO):
7 Million Deaths Annually Linked to Air Pollution (Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution)
In new estimates released (on March 25, 2014), WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died - one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.
In particular, the new data reveal a stronger link between both indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, as well as between air pollution and cancer. This is in addition to air pollution’s role in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
From the 2011 World Health Organization report:
Environmental Burden of Disease Associated with Inadequate Housing
About 12% of new childhood asthma in Europe can be attributed to indoor mould exposure, which represents approximately 55 842 potentially avoidable DALYs (Disability-Adjusted Life Years) and 83 potentially avoidable deaths per year.
About 15% of new childhood asthma in Europe can be attributed to indoor dampness, which represents approximately 69 462 potentially avoidable DALYs and 103 potentially avoidable deaths per year.
Some 4.8 million (22%) of England’s 22 million dwellings were identified as having a Category 1 HHSRS (Housing Health and Safety Rating System) hazard and thus by our definition deemed to be ‘unhealthy housing’.
The total cost of dealing with HHSRS Category 1 hazards in the English housing stock is some £17.6 billion.
Another paper from the United States shows that remediation of lead paint hazards in housing yields a net benefit of $67 billion (Nevin et al., 2008).
From a January 27, 2010 article posted on Wire Service Canada:
B.C. Company Fights Back Against Sick Building Syndrome
In a survey of 100 U.S. office buildings, 23 percent of office workers experienced frequent symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) such as respiratory ailments, allergies and asthma. The impact has been usually hidden in sick days, lower productivity and medical cost, but the economic impact is enormous, with an estimated
decrease in productivity around 2 percent nationwide, resulting in an annual cost to the United States of approximately $60 billion.
William Fisk from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California established a baseline for quantifying benefits from improved IAQ and demonstrated the economic impacts of increased productivity. Findings are showing that improvement in IAQ can: Reduce SBS symptoms by 20 to 50 percent, with estimated savings of $10 to $100 billion; Reduce asthma by 8 to 25 percent, with estimated savings of $1 to $4 billion; Reduce other respiratory illnesses by 23 to 76 percent, with estimated savings of $6 to $14 billion; Improve office worker productivity by 0.5 to 5 percent, with estimated savings of $20 to $200 billion.
One third to one half of all structures
have damp conditions that may encourage development of pollutants such as molds and bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions — including asthma — and spread infectious diseases.
From a 1994 report on
PROPOSED rules by OSHA (standards addressing indoor air quality in indoor work environments). On December 17, 2011, OSHA withdrew this proposal.
Based on the information submitted to the docket, OSHA assumed that 30 percent of the buildings have indoor air quality problems.
Based on OSHA's percentage of problem buildings (30 percent), OSHA assumed that 30 percent of employees working indoors are exposed to poor indoor air quality. Therefore, the number of employees potentially affected is 21 million.