The report also draws attention to the need for better mechanisms to enable collaboration between disciplines, sectors and settings, and a need for scientists to engage with policymakers, stakeholders and the wider public.
Anne Horan, Senior Programme Manager, Science Communities, at the RSC, said: "Indoor air pollution is a serious issue that can have negative impacts on health. It is estimated that in the UK, we spend 80-90% of our time inside, but indoor air pollution remains not as well understood as outdoor air pollution, which has been studied much more extensively.
"Given its complexity, measuring indoor air quality is challenging, but understanding what is harmful is essential to allow Governments and regulators to develop effective policies, standards and guidance in this area. That’s why we’re calling for greater coordination and collaboration between researchers and policymakers, a need for enhanced measurements, and more funding for indoor air quality research to improve the situation."
Professor Nicola Carslaw, Professor in Indoor Air Chemistry at the University of York, who contributed to the report said: "A wide range of factors can affect the indoor air quality of someone’s home, workplace, or school, but there is a lack of data and statutory targets for indoor air pollution comparable with those that exist for outdoor air, which could be having a detrimental effect on public health.
"A nationwide inventory of indoor emissions would facilitate research and increased monitoring of pollution levels indoors and the corresponding health impacts would be a really positive step towards tackling the issue of indoor air quality."
More from the RSC on indoor air quality
The launch of the report coincides with series 4 of our successful Brought to you by chemistry podcast, this series of which focuses on air quality, with a special focus on indoor air quality in episode 2.
Among those to join the podcast to discuss air pollution across the seven episodes were Dr Emily Fischer, Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, Dr Sean Beevers, Reader in Atmospheric Modelling at Imperial College London's School of Public Health, and Professor Cath Noakes, Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings at the University of Leeds.
We've also shared an Indoor air quality explainer, aimed at policymakers and decision makers. This explainer has so far been sent to UK civil servants and MPs. Since then a parliamentary question on indoor air quality has been raised.