Indoor Air Quality Effects on Health

November 9, 2018

The air we breathe can have effects on our health. Indoor air pollution has been ranked by federal scientists as one of the most important environmental problems in the US. Most Americans spend approximately 22 hours daily indoors. Indoor air pollutants include poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur oxide, microbial and chemical volatile compounds.

Common symptoms of indoor air pollution include:

  • Sneezing
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Dizziness
  • Watery Eyes
  • Respiratory congestion

Below are some of the causes of indoor air pollution and their effect on human health.


Asbestos is the most common indoor air pollutant as it can be found in various materials commonly used in home construction and in the automotive industry. It’s found in paints, tiles, coatings and other building materials. It causes lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis and other types of cancer.

Microbial contaminants

Mildew, mold, bacteria, dust mites and other contaminants that grow in damp environments. They cause asthma symptoms, flu, throat irritation and other health problems.


In the US, formaldehyde is not produced as it was banned in 1970. However, it can be found in sealants, paints and wood floors. It causes irritation of the nose, eyes, and throat. It is also known to be cancerous.


Smoke can come from outside or indoor areas. Smoke can cause pneumonia, respiratory irritation, emphysema, heart disease as well as lung cancer.

Household products

Paints, varnishes, and some cleaning products can emit poisonous substances in the air polluting the air in your home. Chemicals emitted can cause loss of coordination, cancer, brain, kidney, and liver damage.

Health Effects

Health effects of indoor pollutants on human health range from short-term to long-term effects. Short-term effects include symptoms such as skin irritation, headaches, burning eyes and some others. Long-term effects are chronic and have a long latency period. Duration of detrimental and magnitude of health effects depend on the time of exposure, age, concentration and presence of a pre-existing unhealthy condition. Some types of asthma are triggered by taking in indoor air that is polluted. Poor air quality can be responsible for causing poor health.

Brennan Air Quality Experts

At Brennan Heating & Air Conditioning, we can help you improve the indoor air quality of your home or office. We offer the best HVAC products and services throughout Puget Sound Region.

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