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National Expenditures for IAQ Problem Prevention or Mitigation

A preliminary estimate of expenditures for indoor air quality problem prevention and mitigation activities in U.S. buildings was developed to provide useful information on how concern for indoor air quality is affecting economic decision-making. Expenditure data were converted to 2003 dollars using the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index.

The total annual expenditures for IAQ problem prevention and mitigation activities in the United States is estimated at approximately $16 billion with a range of $12 billion to $20 billion. Major expenditures were for asbestos and lead abatement (~ $4 billion/y), duct cleaning (~ $4 billion/y), commercial building remediation (includes mold) ~ $3.4 billion/y, IAQ consultants services (~ $2.1 billion/y), and air cleaning and improved filtration (~ $1.5 billion/y). The total estimate does not include activities that were considered typical or routine in the early 1970s before public awareness of indoor air quality became more common. The diverse sources used for this report included direct interviews with key personnel at IAQ consulting companies and laboratories, associated industries, as well as information obtained from company literature, the World Wide Web, and published reports. While not precise, this estimate indicates that the level of expenditure is substantial. Finally, many products routinely used to control indoor air quality such as mold removal and air freshener products were not included in the estimates but could increase the total amount spent substantially.

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