DOI: 10.1515/reveh-2023-0150 ISSN: 0048-7554

Beyond the outdoors: indoor air quality guidelines and standards – challenges, inequalities, and the path forward

Azhar Siddique, Maryam Y. M. Al-Shamlan, Hamad E. Al-Romaihi, Haider A. Khwaja
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health (social science)


In the last few decades, indoor air quality (IAQ) has become a major threat to public health. It is the fifth leading cause of premature death globally. It has been estimated that people spend ∼90 % of their time in an indoor environment. Consequently, IAQ has significant health effects. Although IAQ-related standards and guidelines, policies, and monitoring plans have been developed in a few countries, there remain several global inequalities and challenges. This review paper aims to comprehensively synthesize the current status of widely accepted IAQ guidelines and standards. It analyzes their global implementation and effectiveness to offer insights into challenges and disparities in IAQ policies and practices. However, the complexity of domestic environments and the diversity of international standards impede effective implementation. This manuscript evaluates international, national, and regional IAQ guidelines, emphasizing similarities and differences. In addition, it highlights knowledge gaps and challenges, urging the international scientific community, policymakers, and stakeholders to collaborate to advance IAQ standards and guidelines. The analysis evaluates the efficacy of guidelines, identifies deficiencies, and offers recommendations for the future of domestic air quality standards.

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