The Global Indoor Health Network released its position statement titled “Common Toxins in our Homes, Schools and Workplaces.” According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spokesman, indoor air pollution causes 50% of illnesses globally. This statistic should catch the attention of every physician, every lawmaker and every layperson reading this paper. That’s more than all the cancers and all the heart disease combined. It is time we started to pay more attention to the indoor air we breathe. It is staggering to comprehend the enormous impact on our global society as literally millions of individuals and families are harmed by contaminants inside our homes, schools and workplaces.
Changes over the years in building philosophy, construction materials, pesticides, usage patterns, etc., along with new awareness and improved testing capabilities, have brought us to the understanding that some buildings are sick and can make their occupants sick. Shoddy construction practices and environmental disasters also contribute. Americans spend, on average, 22 hours a day indoors. As such, it is a disconcerting thought that the structures we live in, work at and where we educate our children might lead to significant and even deadly health problems.
In summary, MERI is a multi-symptom, multi-system disease occurring in many people due usually to long-term exposure to the interior of water-damaged buildings. While there are differing opinions on the best diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, it is clear from the literature GIHN Position Statement—34 and from practice that this disease exists and significant relief can be obtained by most sufferers with avoidance of further exposure and appropriate treatment.
As stated throughout this paper, it is time to move beyond the focus of “establishing the fact of mold disease,” because it has already been established in numerous research papers and in the treatment of thousands of patients. It is time for our national and world leaders to develop a comprehensive public health response to this devastating epidemic that has the potential to cripple our individual and collective futures.
The paper provides specific recommendations in the Call to Action. The Global Indoor Health Network looks forward to collaborating with government agencies and organizations in the public and private sector in this search for better health and safer living and working conditions.
The paper can be found, in its entirety.