Humans on average spend approximately 87% of each day in their houses and offices, and another 3-4% in their cars, all indoor environments where we can be exposed to a diverse range of chemicals released from construction materials and from materials we bring inside. Thus, understanding indoor chemistry and its impacts is critically important to human health, as well as to building design and pollution control.
In partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, AAAS RCP convened two events in September that provided opportunities for researchers of indoor chemistry and stakeholders in this important field to learn from each other regarding recent findings, research needs, and next steps.
First, working with the AAAS Office of Government Relations, RCP coordinated a Congressional Briefing that took place at the Rayburn House Office building on September 18th. Over thirty congressional offices sent representatives to attend the meeting and hear from Drs. Barbara Turpin, Marina Vance, Rich Corsi, and Hugo Destaillats on their latest research in this area.
The following day, AAAS held the Symposium on the Chemistry of Indoor Environments, where more 75 attendees from 55 stakeholder organizations heard from leading researchers in the field about their recent discoveries, and the potential impacts and applications, and had the chance to discuss issues and potential collaborations during networking breaks.
Speakers at the Symposium included Drs. Turpin, Vance, Corsi, and Destaillats, as well as other researchers from academic institutions within the U.S. and abroad: Drs. Allen Goldstein, Jonathan Williams, Rachel Adams, Heather Stapleton, Lesliam Quirois-Alcalai, Matt Coggon, Manabu Shiraiwa, Cora Young, Glenn Morrison, and Vicki Grassian. The moderators for the event were from stakeholder associations, including Dr. Ray Wells (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - NIOSH), Dunstan Macauley (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers - ASHRAE), Lara Kolb (EPA), and Mary Dickerson (Perkins+Will). The Symposium also featured a plenary address by Mr. Mahesh Ramanujam, CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Attendees included staff from government agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institutes of Health; professional associations included the National Association of Home Builders, the American Public Health Association, and the American Chemical Society; as well as other non-profits such as Green Seal and the Healthy Building Network.
More information about the symposium, including recordings of each presentation, can be found here.