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Health and Indoor Air

Americans devote a significant amount of attention to issues of environmental pollution, but neglect to look at the quality of the air they breathe while indoors. The average person spends 90 percent of their time indoors. According to studies conducted by the Environmental Protect Agency, indoor air pollutants may be at levels two to five times higher than outdoor levels. Sources of indoor air pollutants include faulty or dirty heating or air conditioning sources; poor ventilation; mold and mildew from damp areas; or combustion sources from burning products such as oil, gas, kerosene, tobacco products, coal, and wood. Asbestos, building materials, insulation materials, personal care products, disinfectants, glues, and household cleaning products, if not properly stored, can also become hazards. Advanced new home designs are featuring mechanical systems that bring outdoor air into the home. Some of these designs include energy-efficient heat recovery ventilators (also known as air-to-air heat exchangers).


The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality
EPA Publication addressing indoor air pollution risk.


Database of State Indoor Air Quality Laws
Includes a wide variety of state policies addressing indoor air quality generally, as well as laws that address specific topics such as mold or radon.

Environmental Protection Agency's Indoor Air Quality
Describes how indoor air pollution can also have significant effects on people's health.

HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control
Resources and information on lead paint hazards and other programs to ensure healthy homes.

Should You Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned?
Describes how to clean your air ducts as a means of improving a home's indoor air quality.

Content updated on 7/22/2004

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