According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution may be 2-5 times, and in some cases, more than 100 times higher than outdoor pollution levels.  Sources of indoor air pollution include heating oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings; household cleaning products; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution that enter the home.

Today, I want to highlight some of the most common indoor air pollutants and indoor air quality concerns as well as identify some of the serious health risks they present for your family.


Source:  Chlorine-treated waters in hot showers
Possible Health Effects:  Cancer


Source:  Aerosol sprays
Possible Health Effects:  Dizziness, difficulty breathing

Nitrogen Oxides

Source:  Unvented gas stoves, kerosene heaters, wood stoves
Possible Health Effects:  Irritated lungs, colds, headaches


Source:  Pipe insulation, vinyl ceiling, wall and floor tiles
Possible Health Effects:  Lung disease, lung cancer

Carbon Monoxide

Source:  Furnaces, unvented gas stoves, kerosene heaters, wood stoves
Possible Health Effects:  Headaches, drowsiness, irregular heartbeat

Tobacco Smoke

Source:  Cigarettes, pipes, cigars
Possible Health Effects:  Lung cancer, heart disease, difficulty breathing

Methylene Chloride

Source:  Paint strippers and paint thinners
Possible Health Effects:  Nerve disorders, diabetes


Source:  Radioactive soil and rock surrounding the foundation of your home, water supply
Possible Health Effects:  Lung cancer


Source:  Carpets, plastic
Possible Health Effects:  Kidney and liver damage


Source:  Tobacco smoke, wood stoves
Possible Health Effects:  Lung cancer


Source:  Furniture stuffing, paneling, particleboard, insulation
Possible Health Effects:  Irritation of the eyes, throat, skin, lungs, nausea, dizziness


Source:  Dry cleaning fluid fumes on clothes
Possible Health Effects:  Nerve disorders, kidney and liver damage, cancer


Source:  Air fresheners, mothballs
Possible Health Effects:  Cancer