7 Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution


When people think about air pollution, the images that come to mind are generally things like belching smoke stacks or automobiles spewing exhaust. However, there are many source of air pollution that are right in the house itself and this form of pollution can actually be worse inside the home rather than outside it. Below are seven source of indoor air pollution you might not have thought about before.


Because new carpets – as well as their padding and adhesive glues – emit harmful gases when they are first installed, they can cause rashes, headaches and sore throats. To avoid this, choose carpeting with low volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and also be sure to let it air out when it was first installed and stay out of the house for a few days while this is happening.


Both paints and strippers can also admit harmful VOC’s when a room is newly painted and this can cause reactions similar to the one brought on by new carpeting. The good news is that, in response to customer demand and new regulations, the choices for low- or no-VOC paints are wider than ever and this can greatly reduce this source of indoor air pollution.


Nearly every home has pots and pans coating with Teflon or a similar substances which prevent food from sticking to the surface of the pan. However, when such cookware is used at high temperatures, this nonstick coatings can emit chemicals that can have a negative health impact. Either do not heat such pans at high temperatures or consider using copper, stainless steel or iron cookware instead.

Art Supplies

This one might really surprise and concern parents, but art supplies like markers, glues, paints and other products also have the potential to harm your child due to the chemical fumes they give off. In order to minimize this, make sure your child does their arts and crafts in a well-ventilated place or consider purchasing alternatives supplies from web site that offer natural products for art projects.

Cleaning Supplies

This many sound counter-intuitive, but many cleaning supplies are actually “dirty”, in the sense that they contain toxic chemicals that you probably do not want in your home and that can cause respiratory and skin problems. Consider using natural cleaning supplies based on things like vinegar or baking soda to clean your home without polluting it.

Dry Cleaned Clothing

Clothes that have been dry cleaned can also be a major source of indoor air pollution because of the chemical perchloroethylene, which has been linked to cancer development in laboratory animals. To avoid this potential hazard, air dry the clothes for a day or two before bringing them into the house or just wear clothing that does not require this process.

Secondhand Smoke

More and more evidence has come to light that secondhand smoke is just as harmful as actually smoking and can cause respiratory symptoms in those who are exposed to it. If you do smoke, then do it outside or go into a smoking cessation program to quite altogether, for your health and for the health of your family.

There are many things that can cause indoor air pollution in your home. Fortunately, however, there are many ways to avoid this pollution, too.

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Mayimina has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.