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.

Chloroform

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

1,1,1-Trichloroethane

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

Asbestos

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

Radon-222

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

Styrene

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

Benzo[a]pyrene

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

Formaldehyde

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

Tetrachloroethylene

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

Paradichlorobenzene

Source:  Air fresheners, mothballs
Possible Health Effects:  Cancer

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