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Mikaela Odemyr is the president of the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA).
As member states and the European Parliament are currently considering the EU’s climate and energy goals for 2030 and beyond, directing our focus to the buildings we live and work in, is an opportunity that could not only significantly reduce carbon footprint but also improve our very own health and that of European citizens simultaneously.
One in six Europeans lives in homes that make them sick. These are often damp homes, sometimes with leaking roofs, often with inadequate thermal control so they’re either too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter.
Europeans who live in these types of unhealthy buildings are 1.5 times more likely to report poor health. They have a two-times higher risk of developing asthma just because they live in damp or moldy homes, and these damp conditions are strongly linked to childhood illnesses.
Poor indoor air quality is responsible for the loss of 2 million healthy life years annually in the European Union. The quality of the air affects Europeans, especially vulnerable groups like chronic respiratory patients.