What Causes Air Pollution Indoors?
Two primary sources of indoor air pollution are a) the materials used to construct the building itself and everything in it, including your furniture, and b) chemical products you bring into your home. Common culprits include aerosols such as hair spray and room deodorizers. Many of these sources release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have both short-term and long-term health effects.
Paying careful attention to these two broad categories can go a long way toward improving your indoor air quality. When rebuilding or refurbishing your home, be sure to look for “green” materials that are free of toxic chemicals. This goes for everything from furniture, upholstery and carpeting to wall construction materials and paint. At the end of this article, I’ll provide a number of other remedial action items as well.
Modern buildings are also more airtight, for efficiency purposes, and need to be properly ventilated to prevent or reduce the buildup of indoor air pollution.16 One of the easiest ways to improve your indoor air quality is to open your windows each day to get some cross ventilation going. Even if the air outside isn’t pristine, it’s likely to be better than what’s built up inside your home.