Fight indoor air pollutants with ventilation

| by Patrick Nielsen
Fight indoor air pollutants with ventilation

The best way to find indoor air pollution is to keep contaminants from entering the home in the first place. That's called source control.

But next best thing you can do is to have appropriate ventilation to exhaust the polluted air and bring in fresh air. 

According to the American Lung Association, here are some of the most common indoor air pollutants.

Biological Pollutants

Includes molds, bacteria, viruses, pollen, animal dander and particles from dust mites and cockroaches.

Secondhand Tobacco Smoke

Secondhand smoke is a major indoor air pollutant. It contains some 200 known poisons, such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, and at least 60 chemicals known to cause cancer.

Combustion Pollutants

Combustion pollutants come from sources such as fuel burning stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, heaters, and water heaters, using gas, oil, coal, wood, or other fuel.


Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, can enter the home through cracks in the foundation floor and walls, drains, and other openings.


A non-flammable mineral that can produce microscopic fibers, that when inhaled into the lungs can cause asbestosis (scarring of the lung tissue), lung cancer and another cancer called mesothelioma. Many asbestos products are found in older homes, including roofing and flooring materials, and insulation for ceilings, walls, pipes and heating equipment.


A common chemical, found primarily in adhesive or bonding agents for many materials found in households and offices, including carpets, upholstery, particle board, and plywood paneling.

According to the American Lung Association, an estimated 40 million individuals in the United States are affected by allergies. Learning how to control a home's environment to reduce allergen levels is important for managing allergies and asthma. Individuals who suffer from asthma, or have other respiratory illness may potentially be at a greater risk for health complications associated with poor air quality in their homes. Ventilation can help manage those problems for better quality of life for everyone in the home.

Topics: Indoor Air Quality, Ventilation

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