Indoor Air Pollution

EPA Sharing Info.

What it is

We usually think of air pollution as being outdoors, but the air in your house or office could also be polluted. Sources of indoor pollution include mold, pollen , Tobacco smoke

household products, and Gases such as carbon monoxide. If you do have good indoor air quality you will have good In and out air flow,Control of airborne contaminants, and Maintenance of acceptable temperature and relative humidity. if you have bad indoor air quality it may cause problems and have serious consequences like Increasing health problems such as cough, eye irritation, headache, allergic reactions and Accelerated deterioration of furnishings and equipment. you may also experience sick building syndrome this happens when people in a building experience acute health effects that are linked to time spent in a building. There is usually no specific illness or cause identified.symptoms of SBS include headaches eye, nose, and throat irritation, a dry cough, dry or itchy skin, dizziness and nausea, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue and sensitivity to odors. With SBS, no clinically defined disease or specific chemical or biological contaminant can be determined as the cause of the symptoms.


The reasons for bad indoor air quality is because of Inadequate temperature, humidity, lighting, or ventilation.



  • Chemical contaminants from outdoor sources, such as pollutants from motor vehicle exhausts, plumbing vents, and building exhausts (bathrooms and kitchens).
  • chemical contaminants from indoor sources, such as, adhesives, upholstery, carpeting, copy machines, manufactured wood products, cleaning agents and pesticides.


  • Environmental tobacco smoke and combustion products from stoves, fireplaces and unvented space heaters can also be sources of chemical contaminants.
  • biological contaminates such as pollen, bacteria, viruses and molds. These contaminants can breed in stagnant water that has accumulated in humidifiers, drain pans, and ducts, or where water has collected on ceiling tiles, insulation, or carpet. One bacterium that can enter indoor air, Legionella, has caused both Pontiac Fever and Legionnaire's Disease.
  • Stats

    The quality of indoor air can be two to five times (and even up to 100 times) more polluted than the worst outside air. Most people recognize the health concerns that outdoor air pollution poses, but few consider that exposure to poor indoor air quality has the same ill health effects.


    The EPA has ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental dangers. The Environmental Protection Agency has recognized that poor indoor air pollution is a very real problem and ranked it among the top of the environmental dangers facing the public.

    Allergies, asthma, lung cancer and heart problems have all been linked to poor air quality. The American Heart Association has linked poor air quality to heart problems while the American Lung Association lists it as a leading cause of lung cancer.


    You spend about 90% of your time indoors. At work, at school and at home, if you are like most people, you spend almost all of your time inside and if your place with bad indoor air quality you are at risk of illness.

    Causes and Effects

  • Some causes of bad indoor air quality
  • Environmental smoke from tobacco affecting adults, children and babies;
  • Carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide
  • Animal dander, dust, dust mites, mildew and mold spores
  • Formaldehyde, pesticides and heavy metal vapors like lead and mercury found in common household products
  • Mycotoxins, asbestos and radon
  • And the list goes on.....................................................................................................................................................
  • Some effects of bad indoor air quality

  • Nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing or headaches
  • Fatigue, lethargy, cognitive impairments and personality changes
  • Nausea, vomiting, and dizziness
  • Conjunctival irritation and/or severe lung disease
  • Chills, fevers, and rashes
  • Tachycardia, myalgia, retinal hemorrhage and hearing loss
  • Ways To Reduce

    Ventiliate. Cooking, cleaning, using hair spray, and polishing your nails can release volatile organic compounds that are linked to a variety of health problems. Use exhaust hoods or fanns in the kitchen and bathroom to reduce your exposure.


    Ban smoking. Don't smoke or allow others to do so in your home or car.


    Test for radon. Whether you have a new or old home, you could have a radon problem. This colorless, odorless gas significantly raises the risk of lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.


    Go green: House plants to the rescue. The Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. Since plants are nature’s lungs, it makes sense that they would be good to have in the home. Best of all, many houseplants not only filter the air but can also absorb air toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.


    Ditch the toxic chemicals.The fumes and chemicals from common household cleaning products are big-time offenders of indoor air quality. Ironically, things like commercial air fresheners are some of the most toxic stuff around and often have labels on them informing the use not to inhale,even though the product is designed to be sprayed in the air?

    MLA Citation

    Ways to Improve Air Quality. Wemd, Summer 2008. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/lung/features/12-ways-to-improve-indoor-air-quality>.


    Caues and Effects of Indoor Air Pollution. Commericailairlclener, Summer 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. <http://www.commercialaircleaner.net/blog/causes-effects-indoor-air-pollution/>.