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Blog/Opinion: Indoor Air Quality Defined

By HHI Staff

So, exactly what is indoor air pollution? Defined, indoor air pollution is the presence of substances (either gases or particulates) within a home’s atmosphere that could negatively affect human health (or the health of your pets). These pollutants might be natural materials (pollen, for example) or derived from man-made substances (the outgassing of synthetic materials). The duration of air pollutants can be brief, but intense, as when you use model-airplane glue, or long-term and chronic at a lower level, as with the release of combustion by-products from your gas range’s burning pilot light.


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Ideally, the best defense against indoor pollution is not owning or using any potentially contaminating materials or products inside your home. This should be combined with thorough and regular house cleaning using less-toxic, low-odor products, controlling any serious moisture problems in your home (including high relative humidity), and providing your house with adequate fresh-air ventilation. At this point, if your home still has somewhat minor air-quality problems, using an appropriate air-cleaning device (i.e., an air filter) can be helpful to remove most of the remaining airborne contaminants.


Admittedly, seriously reducing existing air pollution levels in your house can sometimes be difficult. However, if you address the individual air-pollution sources one by one, it’s likely you’ll eventually have indoor air that will positively, rather than negatively, affect the health of you and your family.




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HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

(Note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)

Indoor Air Quality Defined:  Created on March 5th, 2013.  Last Modified on March 5th, 2013


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