Indoor Air Hygiene Commission

A modern livingroomClick to enlarge
The IRK developes recommendations on various issues and problems concerning indoor air hygiene
Source: auris /

UBA`s Indoor Air Hygiene Commission (IRK) develops recommendations and statements on various issues and problems with biological and chemical substances in the air indoors.

Indoor Air Hygiene Commission (IRK)

UBA’s Indoor Air Hygiene Commission provides expert advice to the President of the Agency on various questions of indoor air hygiene. The members of IRK are appointed for a period of three years at a time. They come predominantly from scientific institutions and competent state authorities in Germany. Membership of the IRK is honorary. Representatives of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) take part in the meetings. Additional experts are invited for specific issues. The German Environment Agency (UBA) manages the secretariat of the IRK.

Recommendations and opinions

IRK develops recommendations and statements on various questions and problems of indoor air hygiene from an independent standpoint. Focus areas have been chemical cleaning agents and disinfectants, the handling of harmful emissions from contaminated dwellings (PCBs, asbestos, tar-containing adhesives, formaldehyde), biological air pollutants such as mould and bacteria, and emissions from building products, lifestyle products (e-cigarettes, shishas) as well as home-based fabrication processes (3D printers). Much discussion has been devoted to improve the ventilation recommendations in educational institutions (schools) and residential buildings that have been developed over the years and take into account the energy balance of buildings.

The work of the current appointment period 2022-2025 will deal with future room and building ventilation - shaped by the experience of the COVID 19 pandemic, new trends in building and their possible impact on indoor air quality, and dealing with recurring legacy pollutants relevant during retrofitting.


The Indoor Air Hygiene Commission is chaired by an external expert. The chair during the current appointment period 2022-2025 is Dr Frank Kuebart, eco-INSTITUT Germany GmbH.

Indoor Air Hygiene Commission

IRK recommendations

  • ederal Health Office recommendation on tetrachloroethene in indoor air

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 31 (1988), pp. 99-101

  • Recommendation on use of disinfectants and pesticides

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 31 (1988), p. 366

  • Recommendations on building clean-up after fires

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 33 (1990), pp. 32-34

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls in indoor air

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 33 (1990), p. 497-499

  • Storage heaters containing asbestos

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 34 (1991), p. 198

  • Federal Health Office recommendation on asphalt floor panelling

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 34 (1991), p. 391

  • Control of pollutant emissions from building materials and other products used in indoor areas

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 36 (1993), p. 76

  • Assessment of indoor air quality

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 36 (1993), pp. 117-118

  • Substitution of tetrachloroethene with hydrocarbon solvents in dry cleaning

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 36 (1993), p. 392

  • Biological indoor air pollution

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 38 (1995), pp. 284-287

  • Hygiene requirements of air conditioning and ventilation systems in buildings

    Bundesgesundheitsblatt 38 (1995), pp. 288-289

  • DDT in US-Housings

    Bundesgesundhbl.-Gesundheitsforsch.-Gesundheitsschutz 42 (1999), p. 88

  • Guidebook on indoor air hygiene in school buildings

    Federal Environment Agency, June 2000

  • Guidebook on prevention, assessment, and clean-up of mould growth in indoor spaces

    Federal Environment Agency, December 2002

  • Guidebook on source detection and clean-up of mould in indoor spaces

    Federal Environment Agency, September 2005