Can indoor air pollution cause health problems?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Research now indicates that indoor air quality could be five times more aging for us than outdoor air. The news regularly reports mysterious cases of "sick building syndrome" and the debate of indoor mold and mold toxins is front-page news. Unfortunately there is much still to be learned about the causes of indoor air pollution, but one thing is clear. Air pollution does not occur only outdoors. Particulates have a remarkable ability to go everywhere, especially the smallest that are very difficult to see and most dangerous for human aging. Indoor air quality can be worse since the indoors can, in some systems, not be diluted with the outdoor fresh air as well in some buildings.

Watch out for toxic fumes that come from household cleaning fluids, laundry detergents, exterminator pesticides, garden sprays, dry cleaning and rug cleaning fluids, and other household products. And tobacco smoke can add particles in the 0.1 to 2.5 micron range. "Building sickness," essentially a malady caused by poor indoor air quality, is a real illness. Workers who work in poorly ventilated buildings have more respiratory infections and complain of fatigue, headache, and nausea. If you work or live in a building that could be causing health problems for you, have the building checked.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.