Indoor Air Pollution Serious Issue for Allergy Sufferers

The Centers for Disease Control states that many people in the U.S. spend approximately 90% of their time indoors.(1) The quality of indoor air has important health ramifications for people with asthma and allergies.(2) ) “Animal dander, pollen, mold, dust mites, and fumes released by cooking, burning fuel, or cleaning products can all have an impact on your indoor air,” the foundation states. “The health risks from poor indoor air quality can often be much worse than outdoor air.”(2)

In addition to biologic pollutants, such as animal dander and pollen, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) affect air quality.(2) The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that VOCs, tiny molecules that contain carbon, are found in many household items including: cleaning products, air fresheners, pesticides, carpet, and cooking equipment, like fryers or grills.(2)

Some health effects may be noticed after a single exposure to a pollutant in indoor air, states the Environmental Protection Agency. These effects may include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, or headaches. Other effects may show up years after exposure. “These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable,” the EPA states.(3)

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s interactive Healthy Home Checklist offers more information on sources of indoor air pollution and tips to improve the quality of air in one’s home.(2)

(1) Bower, J. Centers for Disease Control and Protection, Indoor Air Pollutants and Toxic Materials, https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications/

(2) Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Sources of Air Pollution in Your Home That May Cause Asthma and Allergy Symptoms, https://community.aafa.org/blog

(3) Environmental Protection Agency, Introduction to Indoor Air Quality, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/