Skip to content

Which Material Is A Common Indoor Air Pollutant?

Indoor air pollution is a significant health threat globally. This article will discuss which material is a common indoor air pollutant. Read on for more.

IAQ Boost is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more


Indoor air pollution is a type of air contamination that occurs inside buildings and house structures. It has multiple causes, but a prominent one is our daily life material. So, the question is, “Which material is a common indoor air pollutant?”

Which material is a common indoor air pollutant
Which material is a common indoor air pollutant

By answering this question, we can start to implement methods to reduce the sources of poor indoor air quality and minimize its harm to our health. 

We also need to know that not only do developing countries suffer from it, but in more developed ones, the problem still persists. That’s why we need more awareness on the matter.

Which Material Is A Common Indoor Air Pollutant? 

Indoor Air Pollutants And Their Sources

While the sources of indoor air pollution may vary, there are big differences between developing countries and developed ones. However, the most common sources are usually as noted below:

  • Traditional fuels burning (firewood, coal, etc.) for cooking and domestic energy, heating in poorer areas
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Mold
  • Carpet
  • Household products
  • Radon
  • Pet dander
  • Radon

Common Materials That Cause Poor Air Quality

Which material is a common indoor air pollutant brainly?

Since we are talking about materials, we need to discuss the sources that release the most air pollutants from particular substances and objects. In this regard, we can safely assume that traditional fuels, carpets, cigarette products are the most likely materials.

The burning of unreliable fuels such as coal, firewood, gas, dung, and biowaste is highly susceptible to releasing toxic air. While people have to burn these materials for centuries for heating and cooking, they release nitrogen dioxide, particles, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, etc.

Research has found the link between the consumption of these fuels in poorer countries to a higher death risk related to lung diseases and cardiovascular conditions. 

Common Materials That Cause Poor Air Quality
Common Materials That Cause Poor Air Quality

Also, while smoking is common in adult citizens, it is worth noting that the act can cause severe damage to both adults and children. Tobacco smoking releases ammonia, nitrogen oxide, nicotine, etc. These chemicals can increase the risk of getting lung cancer, among many other diseases.

What about carpets? It is a surprise to include them here. However, if you don’t know yet, then carpets are a great source to store and release toxic chemicals. They absorb mold spores, particulates from smoke, and harmful materials, as well as some dangerous gasses.

Finally, materials in house building or furniture can significantly contribute to the problem. The most common ones are formaldehyde, lead in building materials, and a lot of others in new clothes and furniture.

How To Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

Why Are Our Homes Polluted?

Most modern homes are well-equipped with newer appliances that use either electricity or clean energy. However, that’s only very popular in more advanced, wealthier nations. Many homes still rely on traditional fuel for domestic energy in some poorer areas of such nations or rural areas.

That is especially true in developing countries, where access to modern, cleaner energy usage is still limited. In many parts of the world, people still burn coal or firewood for heating during winter or to cook. 

But modern homes are not free from dangerous toxins either. As we explained, developed countries’ homes face different sources of pollutants, either natural-occurring or human-made. Smoking, for example, in an enclosed environment, can cause a great buildup of contaminants inside a building. 

Another dangerous cause of chemical toxins is radon. It is a radioactive gas that forms naturally then releases to our homes from underground. It is especially threatening since the gas is entirely odorless, colorless, tasteless, and invisible to see. Research shows that long-term radon exposure can lead to lung cancer.

Not to mention all types of bacteria, fungi, viruses, skin shed, pet dander, or fur that continuously contribute to a more complicated, dangerous air for more vulnerable people. 

How To Fight Indoor Air Pollution At Home?

Since we have known most of the common causes for indoor air pollution, it is not impossible to come up with some solutions for the issue.

The first thing you want to do, especially if you live in a fresh, clean area with great outdoor air quality, is to open the window.

It will make the environment less enclosed and release chemical buildups inside the building. Even during winter, you don’t want to close your windows all the time. Once in a while, open them to let oxygen in and dirty things out.

How To Fight Indoor Air Pollution At Home
How To Fight Indoor Air Pollution At Home

The next thing you can do, if you can afford it, is to invest in some purifiers. Since it is impossible to clean your house from something you can see, like microparticles, machines will help you do it efficiently. A decent device will help eliminate nearly 100% of harmful chemicals and particles that float inside your home.

While we are talking about cleaning, it is worth mentioning that you need to clean and vacuum your house regularly to keep it as clean as possible. Dust, mold, and other nasty things are major sources of many lung and respiratory conditions.

Effects Of Indoor Air Pollution

Who Are At Risk?

Since indoor pollution affects all people, it is worth noting that no one is invulnerable to it. However, certain groups of people are more susceptible to the problem than others. That includes:

  • Pregnant women and fetuses
  • Children, especially younger ones
  • Women who do the cooking in rural areas with traditional fuels
  • Older people
  • People with respiratory conditions and cardiovascular diseases

Health Effects Of Indoor Air Pollution

Several studies have shown that poor air quality can lead to a lot of different problems for vulnerable people. Harmful chemicals can disrupt and permanently damage the development of children with even a lower dose than adults. 

Continuous exposure to some chemicals also leads to a higher chance of lung diseases like asthma, pneumonia, and lung cancer. Worse are heart diseases, mental problems, and reduced health in general.

Older people or people with diseases and reduced ability to fend off toxins are very susceptible to any introduction to harmful substances, especially in poorer areas where people have worse access to healthcare systems and technology.

Finally, those with allergies can also suffer from animal fur or other factors that normally do not harm regular people.

Indoor And Outdoor Air Pollution: Which Is Worse?

In general, indoor pollution can be more harmful due to its enclosed attribute. The concentration of toxic matters in an enclosed environment is worse to breathe in than in a breezy one.

Besides that, some indoor activities are also very harmful such as tobacco smoking, which is widely banned in public and outdoor spaces.

Indoor And Outdoor Air Pollution
Indoor And Outdoor Air Pollution

According to the EPA, indoor air quality can be five times worse than that of outdoor. Some substances only become worse and more harmful with higher concentrations in an enclosed building.

How To Estimate Indoor Air Pollution – Indoor Air Quality Parameters

A methodical, reasonable way to approach the problem is by using air parameters.

Temperature And Moisture

Temperature and moisture can affect how one breathes and operates in an enclosed environment. Poor thermal experience can worsen some persistent conditions in certain groups of people. They also affect the survival of viruses and bacteria in the environment.

Chemicals Like CO, NO2, And CO2

These harmful chemicals directly affect our health. The occupied enclosed environment usually has a higher concentration of these substances than outdoor. So it is necessary to keep a healthy level of these chemicals so as not to cause damage to humans.

Total Volatile Organic Compounds

The term describes a wide range of organic substances from construction and furniture. Short term exposure to them can cause headache, red-eye, minor respiratory problems. Long term exposure poses a threat to liver, kidney, or central nervous system damage.


We hope our article is sufficient to answer the question “which material is a common indoor air pollutant?”. Since it is a global, serious problem that threatens the health of billions of people, more research should be conducted on the issue to find out more about it.

In the meantime, raising awareness and starting to implement methods to protect yourself and your family from this matter can be the first steps you may take for better health for our generation.


Featured on

Yahoo News