Air PollutionAir purifiers

5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Indoor Air Quality

By September 27, 2016 No Comments
8 minutes to read

Indoor Air Pollution Can Cause Health Issues

Did you know that air fresheners, candles, furniture, carpets & many other items create indoor air pollutants and are a Health Risk Says Camfil Air Filtration Experts!                             

When you mention air pollution, most people automatically think of smog around cities and factories, or millions of cars racing from one place to another leaving trails of fumes behind them as they go. As dangerous as outdoor air pollution is though, indoor air quality is often a much higher concern when it comes to the level of pollutants in the air.

Some pollutants make their way into homes and buildings and become trapped, building up over time. Others are let loose by the occupants themselves as they go about maintenance and cleaning, or even just trying to rid an area of an unpleasant odor. Because the air in indoor environments doesn’t circulate freely, many contaminants remain in the environment and become more of a health hazard as time goes by.

Effects caused by indoor air contaminants can range from simple things like coughing and sneezing to allergies and asthma. Over long periods of exposure, polluted indoor air can even play a significant role in chronic and potentially life threatening illnesses.

Indoor Air Quality Is a Top 5 Health Risk

Studies conducted by the EPA have shown that indoor air pollution levels are generally,  anywhere from two to five times higher than outdoor air. It is listed as one of the top 5 risks to human health. Some examples of causes for these levels of pollution indoors are use of air fresheners, burning candles, gases released from cooking, household cleaners, and more.

Air Fresheners Can Be Poisonous

Most air fresheners contain phthalates, which are noxious chemicals that have been shown to disrupt hormone function in babies and small children as well as aggravate breathing impairments such as asthma.

Other chemicals released when air fresheners are used can react with ozone, a common gas in our environments, to form substances such as formaldehyde and acetone which also cause respiratory sensitivity and can restrict breathing airflow.

Candles Pollute the Air Too

Many people burn candles to create a pleasant scent covering up indoor odors. Unfortunately, candles release their share of contaminants into the air too. Most candles contain benzene and toluene, both of which are known carcinogens. When burned, they will also release hydrocarbons such as alkanes and alkenes (both found in car exhaust).

Furniture and Carpets Release Chemicals Into The Air

Furniture upholstery is made with chemicals known as PBDEs (Polybrominated diphenyl ethers) and are commonly used as a flame retardant. These chemicals slowly disperse into the air over time. The same chemicals can be found in many carpets and the padding installed underneath. Over time, significant amounts of these chemicals are released from the products into the environment.

Indoor Air Pollution Can Cause Health Issues

Indoor air pollution is much more than just smoke and bad odors. Every day people are breathing in things like VOCs, phthalates, PBDEs, mold, pollen, pet dander, radon, and more. Most of these things exist in the air as fine particles that are actually small enough to pass through the lungs and enter the bloodstream. All of them pose a serious risk to human health with long periods of repeated exposure.

Various contaminants that commonly build up in indoor areas have been shown to cause symptoms like dry eyes, headaches, nasal congestion, fatigue, and even nausea. Others have been linked to more serious problems such as asthma, lung infections, and lung cancer.

Air Filtration Is the Solution

There is only one way to remove all of these contaminants from the air we breathe in indoor environments — air filtration. It’s especially important in large buildings such as office spaces or retail shopping locations. With more people entering and leaving a building, and more cleaning products being used day in and day out, the amount of chemicals and toxins left circulating in the air can be staggering.

Proper ventilation and filtration of recirculating air is the only way to remove these contaminants before they build up and pose a threat to the people who live, work or enjoy their leisure time in any building.

Camfil air products can be used to filter and clean the air in any indoor environment. Our products represent the very best in air filtration technology and innovation. From replacement filters capable of removing sub-micron sized particles and gases, to complete air circulation and filtration systems, every product is backed with more than 50 years of experience. With the highest filtration efficiency and lowest total cost of ownership in the industry, Camfil products can’t be beat.


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Lynne Laake

Camfil USA Air Filters

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