Common Indoor Air Pollutants and Where to Find Them

Common Indoor Air Pollutants
By | December 19, 2023
5 min read

While most pay attention to outdoor air pollution and climate change threats, indoor pollution goes unnoticed. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor pollution levels can be 2–5 times higher than the outdoors and can overcome the norm by 100 times. Although the right amount of fresh air can reduce indoor pollution, that won’t be enough to prevent a statistically high rate of health issues caused.

Most common indoor air pollutants are:

Dust, Dust mites, Odors, Pollen, CO, CO2, Exhaustion Fumes, Lead, Pet hair, Household cleaners, Mold spores, Bacteria and viruses, Pesticides, Smoke, Asbestos, etc.


Fact #1 – Americans spend 90% of their time indoors

Fact #2 – Only in a year a 6-room house collects an average of 40 lbs of dust, which is laced with up to 47 toxic chemicals

Pollutants occur in different layers. When distributed, they can be re-suspended in the air

Why is it important to have clean indoor air?

For simple biological reasons, children, pregnant women, and the elderly are more susceptible to the adverse effects of air pollution because they spend most of their time indoors in residential buildings. So here’s a list of WHY you should stop ignoring the rules of “lungs house hygiene” or the non-following-it consequences will affect you and your family.

The EPA has a method

For reading an outdoor airbase from particles that are 10 or 2.5 microns or smaller. Particles smaller than 2.5 were found both outdoors and indoors. And 99% of those indoor particles are less than 1 micron. These particles are dangerous to human health.

To reduce the level of those, you need to get your air ducts and air vents cleaned annually. And not to forget to change the filters – especially before the start of the “chimney season.”

Three groups of risk

Children under 14 years old — their bodies are developing, their metabolism rate is high, the air they inhale is four times the amount of air an adult does.
At the age of 2-3 years, old kids spend most of their time indoors – in the child breathing zone – the area defines as being up to 1 meter high. This means that seemingly harmless activities at home such as playing on the carpets can harm children health, causing severe issues

Pregnant women — they’re breathing for two. There’s a higher incident risk of autism with pregnant women in areas of high pollution.

The elderly — as we get older, our lungs function decreases. It’s one of the reasons the metabolism slows down. People at this age are more susceptible to pneumonia and should take additional care of the air they breathe.

Health problems caused by Indoor Air Pollution

Asthma. The most common health issue, caused by the tiny dust particles inhalation – half of the micron in size, half the extent that the naked eye can see.
Dust mites and cockroaches, droppings, and mold are prevalent allergens that cause asthma.
Chemicals are known as VOC (volatile organic compounds) cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and even shortness of breath.

Emphysema. A lung condition that causes shortness of breath. Air sacs in the lungs become damaged, holes can develop in lungs pockets, which decreases the amount of the surface area in contact with the air moving through the lungs.

Health problems caused by Indoor Air Pollution

Although steps to reduce indoor pollution will improve the situation, these actions should be considered a necessity, not a special case treatment. For a quality air solution, use professional cleaning services at least once a year.

The best time for it – just before the start of the heating season. In the cold months, people tend to spend more time at home, rarely ventilate rooms. This creates an environment of high temperatures and, as a result of high humidity – the best playground for viruses, bacteria, and mold.

The founder, CEO, and author of articles for the Green Ductors blog. Dedicated to his work, Dmytro strives to make people more aware of the importance of maintaining the best possible air quality. By treating readers like friends, he communicates even the most complex information in an easy-to-understand way to make your reading experience not only useful but also enjoyable. Check out the articles written by the hand of our founder Dmytro.

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