Indoor Air Pollution: a public health issue
Many people are unaware of indoor air pollution, which is not as mediatised as outdoor pollution. And yet, we spend an average of 80% to 90% of our time in closed areas: home, office, and public facilities. The air that we breathe is 5 to 7 times more polluted than the air outdoors.
Where does indoor pollution come from?
Confined areas expose us to several different types of pollutants : household and DIY products, carbon monoxide, dust, tobacco, mould, and so much more. There may be all sorts of hazardous particles in the air at home.
Home air pollution comes from a number of different sources. The type of pollution depends on the characteristics of the home (e.g. isolation, ventilation), and on the inhabitants’ activities (e.g. Smoking, DIY).
How does indoor air pollution affect our health?
The impact of indoor air pollution has been reported by many scientific studies. In some cases, you may barely notice the pollutants: they cause unpleasant odours, fatigue or sleepiness. Or the impact can be more worrisome: headaches, dizziness, skin irritation or watery eyes. In more serious instances, the pollution may exacerbate existing conditions such as asthma. In the most extreme cases it can be life-threatening, leading to poisoning, heart attacks or cancer.
When the household includes pregnant women, infants, elderly people or asthma sufferers, you need to be especially careful.
Indoor pollution poses a greater risk to such people because they are more fragile, and also because they spend more time inside.
How can I improve the air quality of my home?
1. Identify the sources of pollution.
To limit indoor pollution, find out where it comes from. Identify the source.
Breathing problems such as asthma? Air that is too humid or too dry is not good for you.
Repeated headaches? Carbon monoxide may be the cause. Even a few particles of CO spell trouble.
A smart connected detector will tell you if the air in your house is healthy. Using ultra-sensitive sensors and special algorithms, the device continuously measures the quality, temperature and relative humidity of the air in your home. You are warned in real time of any health hazards. Keep the air in your home nice and comfortable: not too humid, not too dry.
2. Act on the sources of pollution.
Healthy air in your home requires constant temperature and humidity that are suitable for the inhabitants.
Air quality sensors help you check the indoor air quality of your home.
To reduce indoor air pollution it is important to renew the air regularly. For this, you must have effective ventilation (e.g. a mechanically controlled ventilation system). Also think about healthy habits: if you must smoke, smoke outside; opt for natural household products; and freshen the air with real plants, not incense or artificial fragrances.
Indoor air quality: facts and figures
- On average, we spend 80% to 90 % of our time indoors.
- Indoor air is 5 to 7 times more polluted than the outdoor air.
- Nearly one person out of five has felt the effects of indoor air pollution, or noticed the effect on people around them.
- Each year, indoor air pollution causes the untimely death of 3.3mn people in the world.
- Nearly 3% of the global cost of illness is due to indoor air pollution
In France, the overall cost of inadequate air quality is estimated at €10 to 40bn per year.