What Causes Indoor Air Problems?
Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air
are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate
ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough
outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying
indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels
can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.
...more about it!
There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home. These
include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and
tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as
deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and
cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for
household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central
heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources
such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution.
The relative importance of any single source depends on how much of a
given pollutant it emits and how hazardous those emissions are. In some
cases, factors such as how old the source is and whether it is properly
maintained are significant. For example, an improperly adjusted gas stove
can emit significantly more carbon monoxide than one that is properly
Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, and household
products like air fresheners, release pollutants more or less continuously.
Other sources, related to activities carried out in the home, release
pollutants intermittently. These include smoking, the use of non vented or
malfunctioning stoves, furnaces, or space heaters, the use of solvents in
cleaning and hobby activities, the use of paint strippers in redecorating
activities, and the use of cleaning products and pesticides in
house-keeping. High pollutant concentrations can remain in the air for long
periods after some of these activities.
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