Although smoking and burning solid fuel inside the home are two major sources of indoor air pollution, they’re not the only ones. Insulation that contains asbestos can be inhaled as it deteriorates.
For many people, those causes aren’t an issue. Some of the other common contributors to poor indoor air quality are:
- Flooring and carpeting
- Cleaning products
- Air fresheners
- Hobby products
- Beauty and personal care products
- Gas appliances
- Outdoor pollution sources, such as smog, radon and pesticides
- Central HVAC systems
- Animal allergens
Certain pressed wood products are held together with toxic adhesives. These chemicals may be found in new cabinetry, desks, dressers and other pieces.
Flooring, upholstery and carpets can release harmful chemicals. According to one survey of consumer goods, many fragrances that are found in laundry detergents, scented candles and cleaning supplies can react with the environment and create toxins within the home.
Moisture plays a major role in indoor air quality. High humidity helps mold, allergens and dust mites thrive. When some people touch or inhale mold spores, they react with symptoms that are similar to a common cold.
According to the EPA, mold can trigger asthma attacks. It can also cause delayed symptoms, which makes it hard to pinpoint as the cause of health problems.
In urban environments, exposure to airborne mouse allergens is a problem, according to this study.