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The Causes and Effects of Indoor Air Pollution: Explained

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The majority of individuals spend 90% of their time indoors, whether it be at home, work, school, the subway, or any other location. And although we frequently discuss the level of air pollution, we rarely think about the quality of the air we breathe indoors. Thought to be the cause of 4.3 million deaths annually, indoor air pollution has been demonstrated to have significant impacts on both short and long term health. Learn what you can do to enhance the air quality in your house.

Indoor air pollution- What is it

In a nutshell, indoor air pollution is any contaminant of the air within a structure. Molds, solvents, pesticides, smoke, pet dander, and gasses are the broad categories into which pollutants fall. Indoor air pollution will have some negative effects on most properties. Due to the development of more energy-efficient dwellings, indoor air pollution has grown to be a more urgent issue.

As a result of the near airtightness of these structures, the air within may easily stagnate and pollution levels can rise very quickly. A lot of harmful compounds are created elsewhere when fuels like coal, wood, and gas are used for cooking and heating. These include formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, particulates, and other harmful substances. Without enough ventilation, these chemicals are breathed, which can harm your health in a variety of ways.

What health effects does indoor air pollution have on people

Sick building syndrome is a condition caused by a decrease in the exchange of fresh air in modern structures. Poor ventilation and poorly maintained air conditioning are two typical contributors to this. Sick building syndrome signs become worse the longer you stay on the premises and get better when you leave. The most typical signs are as follows:

  • Headaches
  • Runny nose or blocked sinuses
  • Raised skin
  • Scratchy eyes
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble breathing

Indoor air pollution sources



Mold- Mold is a kind of fungus that spreads via buildings’ wet regions. It may grow on a variety of surfaces and digests the things it comes into contact with. The winter season and more humid climes are when it is most widespread in such surroundings. Mold may have a range of appearances due to the numerous fungal species that can cause it. Mold can have a surface texture that is smooth, fuzzy, or rough and can be white, black, green, or yellow.

Worryingly, mold may emit a variety of dangerous chemicals into the air and produce a wide range of symptoms; this makes it particularly hazardous for newborns, young children, the elderly, and anybody who already has immunological, respiratory, or skin disorders.

Cigarette smoke- Over 40,000 people die in the United States each year as a result of secondhand smoking, a major contributor to indoor air pollution. Smoking cigarettes increases a child’s chance of developing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), severe asthma, ear issues, and acute respiratory infections.

These substances, when breathed, can result in major problems including heart attacks and conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other cardiovascular conditions.
Carpet- Carpets easily collect mold spores, smoke particles, allergies, and other toxic chemicals, acting as traps for indoor pollutants. Even certain harmful gasses, according to research, may find their way into carpets. Despite some claims to the contrary, walking on carpets may readily disrupt pollutants trapped there, putting residents at risk.

Household items- Indoor air pollution may be brought on by a variety of everyday items that are found in practically every home. Cleaning supplies and disinfectants are a few of these:

  • Paints
  • Solvents and adhesives
  • Goods for personal care
  • Air purifiers
  • Candles

These products might release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat as well as cause headaches, nausea, organ damage, and in some extreme cases, cancer.

Pet dander- While pet dander may not immediately come to mind when considering indoor pollution, it is a serious irritant for many allergy sufferers and can make some interior surroundings uncomfortable. Since household dogs lose minute flakes of skin, which make up pet dander, hairless breeds may make people cough, sneeze, get watery eyes, or feel tight in the chest.

It’s crucial to remember that air temperature, humidity, and circulation can cause signs of indoor air pollution, and that lowering the thermostat may assist.

How to improve the quality of indoor air

How can you enhance the quality of the air you breathe if you suffer from indoor air pollution?

Air purifier- A home air filtration system makes sure that there are no dangerous bacteria, viruses, or other contaminants that could harm your health in the air you breathe. Along with some other unexpected advantages, it also improves the performance of your AC system and makes it simpler to keep your house clean. Prior to air conditioning, an air filter in the furnace filters out pollutants. The best furnace filter should be selected as a result, pay attention. Using an air filtration system at home has the following advantages:

  • Eliminate Allergies
  • Clean Up the Air in Your House
  • Eliminate Dangerous Chemicals
  • Cut Down on Asthma Symptoms
  • Eliminate odors from the air
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