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UK government accused of flouting duty to protect citizens over IAQ

A high-ranking UN official has criticised the UK government’s efforts to protect Britons from air pollution, accusing it of “flouting” its duty as concerns over indoor air quality (IAQ) increase.

Baskut Tuncak, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights related to toxic waste, was invited by the government to carry out a fact-finding mission in January and his summary was damning as he stated that “air pollution continues to plague the UK.”

Polluted air is linked to 40,000 early UK deaths every year. Outdoor pollution from vehicles and industrial processes is only part of the problem, with mechanical ventilation within buildings such as schools, offices, hotels and healthcare facilities also putting occupants at risk if not properly maintained.

If neglected, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can become a breeding ground for bacteria, mould and viruses, which is passed on to building occupants via the air stream.

Allowing building occupants to breathe poor-quality indoor air exposes them to the risk of developing lung conditions such as bronchial asthma, along with aggravation of eczema symptoms. This can cause a reduction in productivity, increased absenteeism and a rise in staff turnover rates. 

Solutions exist that help to improve the problem in occupied spaces, including pioneering systems such as CoilCare® from Gibbons Ultraviolet Solutions. This low-maintenance system uses powerful ultraviolet-C (UVC) photoniser lamps mounted within the air handling unit (AHU) of a building’s HVAC system to destroy bio-contaminants on the cooling coil surface and in the surrounding air.

The chemical-free system prevents bacteria, mould spores, viruses and other bio-contaminants that thrive on the cooling coils and drain pans of AHUs from entering occupied spaces while returning AHU performance to as-new. This improves energy efficiency and equipment lifespan, while continued use prevents re-accumulation.

Find out more about CoilCare® by calling Gibbons Ultraviolet Solutions‘ Colin Hardman on 07940 544 206 or email

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