What are you breathing?

Interesting Facts


      • We spend 90% + of our time indoors
      • The UK has the highest asthma rate in the world
      • Indoor environments are 10x more pollutant than outdoor
      • US EPA recognise IAQ as one of the top 5 health hazards
      • 20 toxic compounds (cancer/birth defects) 200-500x higher indoors
      • According to the AMA, 50% of all illnesses are caused  or aggravated by polluted indoor air
      • 70% of occupants are dissatisfied with their environment
      • 73% of Facility Managers have installed…… a fake thermostat to reduce air complaints



It is an important question to ask ourselves

New Research

Riggs, J. J. (2014) 'An approach to increasing awareness of IAQ'.

This project explores the approach to increasing the awareness of indoor air quality using a literature research to evaluate historical context, critiquing combined contaminants, reviewing fragrances, appraising awareness, resources and government policy, both UK and Worldwide.

Read More.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of air in the indoor environment within a building and how it relates to the occupants physical and psychological health, comfort and productivity.  A more technical definition of IAQ is related to how well indoor air satisfies the three basic requirements for human occupancy: thermal acceptability, maintenance of normal concentrations of respiratory gases, dilution and removal of contaminants to levels below health or odour discomfort thresholds.

We expect the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink to be uncontaminated and safe.  As educated consumers we can control the food and drink we consume, but our most  vital organs are continuing to be affected by the harmful contaminants in the air we breath every day.  Many of those sources are man made.

Most of the toxins in our air are at low levels but should not be disregarded as harmless because there can be a cumulative effect that must be considered. Most contaminants can build up over time and create problems after years of exposure.

There is no doubt, no question any longer that the extent and depth of contamination in the air we breathe is serious. There have been no studies to date that reveal what the resulting long term health effects are when the contaminants found in the air we breathe combine.


IAQUK is an independent organisation with the aim of 'raising the agenda of indoor air quality within the home and workplace'.  The objectives are achieved by working with the various agents and organisations in promoting indoor air quality and ensuring the information is accessible to enable individuals to make a choice about their environment.



This  site is intended to provide a comprehensive practical reference guide to assist with a dynamic understanding of indoor air quality and the effects of health, comfort and productivity.


IAQUK offer a suite of training, including a 1 day awareness course and 5 day technicians certificate.


The information presented by IAQUK  is intended to be accessible for all without the need for subscription or membership; However if you find the information from this site beneficial, we would welcome a donation to our cause to enable us to provide future content.  Such support is vital to the continuous development of IAQUK.


STOP and take a minute to consider the basics of your indoor air environment and the quality of the air you breathe.  If you replace the contents of a 5 gallon bottle that sits aloft a water cooler, substituting water with air, you will breathe an equivalent of 600 bottles every day, taking approximately 20,000 breaths.  It is often an unconscious action and you probably do not consider the quality of air that travels along dusty ventilation ducting or exhaled by adjoining occupants, which passes through our nose and mouth and into our lungs.  Air containing dusts, fibres, vapours, chemicals, bacteria and other contaminates.

We will realize the legacy of what we breath today in another 20 years.



Dr. Julie Riggs is an academic practitioner, speaker and writer within the field of health, safety and indoor air quality.  She has over 20 years assisting businesses with developing health and safety practices, and is a leader raising the agenda of indoor air quality (IAQ) within the UK.  With a doctorate within IAQ and a further MSc degree in occupational health and safety management from Middlesex University, Dr Riggs has a balance of academic knowledge and professional practice experience.


Dr Riggs first become involved with indoor air quality in 2005 during her involvement with sick building complaints from a workplace that had moved from a drafty, naturally ventilated building to a sealed mechanically ventilated system.  Following an investigation, carbon dioxide was indicated as the cause for the problem.  Once the fresh air mix had been increased, the complaints reduced dramatically.

Dr Riggs reflected on the lack of public information to assist people to improve their environments an decided to create a free portal of information for indivdiuals and organisations.  

Dr. Riggs is passionate about raising the agenda of indoor air quality within the UK and currently lectures, speaks and delivers training regarding the subject.  Dr. Riggs is interested in hearing from individuals/bodies who can contribute/collaborate with the objectives of IAQUK.

Further details about Dr Riggs can be found on www.drjulieriggs.co.uk







IAQ UK is an independent organisation with the aim of 'raising the agenda of indoor air quality within the home and workplace'













  • UK’s dedicated site for indoor air quality
  • Comprehensive information for the home and workplace





IAQUK, 4 Brean House, 19 Montpelier, Weston-super-Mare,

Somerset, BS23 2RJ


Established 2009


Within the UK, there is limited guidance, evaluating the impact of IAQ. It is not anticipated that legislation will enforce improved standards, however the moral wellness, economical benefits and continuous improvements will drive the implementation of a common approach.


Therefore IAQUK have recommended the following IAQ Rating Index.  Reference should be made to individual components, however IAQ Rating Index can provide indicators that may require further investigation. 

We would value feedback regarding the introduction of standards,comments to admin@iaquk.org.uk


Click link below to download:

IAQ Rating Index


A practical Guide to Indoor Air Quality : For the Home and Workplace

By: Dr. Julie Riggs

As you take approximately 20,000 breaths every day, have you considered what is in the air that has travelled along dusty ventilation shafts, exhaled by our fellow occupants and contaminated with chemicals, pollen, dust, fibres and allergens?  This air affects our physical and mental health.  We care about our external air, however, the air inside your home and workplace can be substantially more polluted than outdoors.  Despite this knowledge, we continue to seal our internal spaces airtight, fill it with synthetic materials, including perfumes and scented products, to create a toxic soup of pollution.

Our lack of action and our silence is creating the greatest harm. We are failing to tackle the stealth pollutants within our indoor air, creating a toxic legacy of chronic illnesses.  As a reader, we can either choose to be affected by our world, or we can choose to affect our world. Together we can start a conversation that matters

This guide is a melange of technical disciplines and academic research which will assist you to transfer knowledge to practical application and to encourage further discussion on the value and business case for managing IAQ. The book is written in an easy to understand text with as much focus on motivating as educating. The book will appeal to home and building owners, local authorities, transdisciplinary practitioners (such as facility managers, health and safety advisors) and IAQ technicians regarding the management of indoor air quality


Available from Amazon

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0995543704
  • Price: £35.00