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 and pollen
- Tobacco smoke
- Household products and pesticides
- Gases such as radon and carbon monoxide
- Materials used in the building such as asbestos, formaldehyde and lead
Sometimes a group of people have symptoms that seem to be linked to time spent in a certain building. There may be a specific cause, such as Legionnaire's disease. Sometimes the cause of the illness cannot be found. This is known as sick building syndrome.
Usually indoor air quality problems only cause discomfort. Most people feel better as soon as they remove the source of the pollution. However, some pollutants can cause diseases that show up much later, such as respiratory diseases or cancer.
Making sure that your building is well-ventilated and getting rid of pollutants can improve the quality of your indoor air.
Environmental Protection Agency
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Air Cleaners and Air Filters in the Home (Environmental Protection Agency, Indoor Environments Division)
- Ozone Generators That Are Sold as Air Cleaners (Environmental Protection Agency, Indoor Environments Division)
- Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? (Environmental Protection Agency, Indoor Environments Division)
- Maintaining Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) during Construction and Renovation (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
- Office Building Occupant's Guide to Indoor Air Quality (Environmental Protection Agency, Indoor Environments Division)
- Workplace Safety: Indoor Environmental Quality (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Air Pollution, Indoor (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Indoor aerosol water content and phase state in U.S. residences: impacts...
- Article: Bad Air Can Also Kill: Residential Indoor Air Quality and Pollutant...
- Article: Association between coal and firewood combustion and hospital admissions and mortality...
- Indoor Air Pollution -- see more articles