Indoor Air

Indoor Air Quality

It is true that a major concern of society should be that of the quality of outside air, but indoor air quality is often much poorer than that of the outdoor. One reason for this is that people generally spend the majority of their time in an indoor environment which often have higher concentrations of air pollutants. These higher concentrations can contribute to detrimental health effects by irritating and or deteriorating ones respiratory functions. Those most affected by poor indoor air quality are sensitive groups such as those with allergies, lung disease, asthma, etc.

Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality often deteriorates when there is poor air circulation and ventilation in a home. Poor ventilation causes indoor air pollution to reach higher concentrations since it is difficult for the highly concentrated air to be diluted by outdoor air. Main contributors to poor indoor air quality:

Heaters and fireplaces: wood, oil, gas, kerosene
Central heating/cooling systems and humidification devices
Biological allergens (pet dander, mites, pollens, dust, mold, etc.)
Building materials and furnishings: asbestos, specific pressed wood products, etc…
Smoking
Household cleaning supplies
Outdoor air pollution
Radon
Pesticides

Tip Sheets

Mold Booklet
Carbon Monoxide
Volatile Organic Compounds
Second Hand Smoke
Radon

Further Information

Indoor Air Quality Homepage – U.S. EPA
Indoor Environmental Quality – CDC
Household Products Database – Health & Human Services
Energy Star
American Lung Association