Air Pollution

Indoor Edition

What is indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution is the chemical, biological, and physical contamination of indoor air. Indoor air pollution may result in health effects. For example, sick building syndrome is when comfort-related effects seem to be linked directly to the time spent in a building. Indoor air quality is a term which refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the heath and comfort of building occupants. Indoor air quality is affected by gases and can cause health conditions just like indoor air pollution. The picture displays the symptoms and causes of sick building syndrome.

Major Air Pollutants

Ozone is a gas that is a major contributor to smog. Ozone is created when burning gasoline, coal, or other fossil fuels. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas. Carbon Monoxide comes from burning fossil fuels, mainly cars, furnaces, and heaters. Nitrogen Dioxide is a reddish-brown gas. It is created when nitrogen in fuel is burned or when nitrogen in the air reacts with oxygen at high temperatures. Particular Matter is a solid or liquid matter suspended in the air. Road dust, sea spray, construction, and burning of fuel causes particular matter. Sulfur Dioxide is a corrosive gas that can smell like rotten eggs. Sulfur Dioxide is caused by burning coal or oil. Lead is a very toxic blue-gray metal and can be found in leaded gasoline and lead paint. Toxic Air Pollutants are chemicals suspected to cause cancer. They come from chemical plants and burning of fossil fuels. Stratospheric Ozone Depleters include CFC's which are used in air conditioners. Greenhouse Gases stay in the air for a long time and warm up the planet by trapping sunlight.

Beijing, China and the Air Pollution

Air Pollution Causes More than 6 Million Deaths Worldwide

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor Air Pollution

Causes and Effects of Indoor Air Pollution

The main causes of indoor air pollution are toxic products, inadequate ventilation, high temperature, and humidity. Several more specific examples are asbestos, formaldehyde, lead, tobacco smoke, contaminants, objects in your homes, and household products. Asbestos causes indoor air pollution which can result in lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. Formaldehyde can lead to irritation of the throat, eyes, and nose, and allergic reactions. Lead can lead to brain and nerve damage, kidney failure, anemia, and a defective cardiovascular system. Respiratory irritation, pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease, and lung cancer can all be caused by tobacco smoke. Contaminants, such as dust, can cause asthma symptoms, throat irritation, flu, and other infectious diseases. Gas stoves can lead to respiratory infections and damage/irritation to the lungs. Certain cleaning products could cause you to experience loss of coordination, liver, brain, kidney damage, and various cancers.The picture shows causes of indoor air pollution.

Stats about Indoor Air Quality and the Standards

The EPA has rated indoor air quality as top 5 environmental risk to public health. In 1999 1 in 14 Americans suffered from asthma by 2011 it had increased to 1 in 12. OSHA has standards about ventilation and some air contaminants which are what contribute to indoor air quality.

How Can You Help?

  1. Quit smoking
  2. Only use environmentally friendly cleaning products
  3. Stop using gas stoves
  4. Have your home inspected for any harmful chemicals or bacteria
  5. Have your home checked for asbestos
  6. Vacuum your home regularly to decrease built up allergens
  7. Remove your shoes before walking through your house

Works Cited

Group, Edward. "10 Shocking Facts About Indoor Air Quality." N.p., 22 Oct. 2014. Web.


"Indoor Air Quality." N.p., 10 Nov. 2015. Web.


"Major Air Pollutants." Jonathan Levy, n.d. Web.


"Safety and Health Topics | Indoor Air Quality." Safety and Health Topics | Indoor Air Quality. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.


"What Is Indoor Air Pollution." Causes and Effects of Inoor Air Pollution. N.p., n.d. Web.