How To Know If Your Air Is Unhealthy
Concerned that the air in your home or workplace may be harming your health or someone else’s? Do a little digging to find the likely culprit. Walk through the building and ask a few questions to discover if the indoor air is causing a problem. Then learn more about potential sources of indoor air pollution.
In your home
Do health symptoms improve when you leave the building? Do they return when you come back into the building? If so, you may have an indoor air pollution problem and should explore the following potential sources. Learn more about protecting your air at home by clicking on the links below.
- Is anyone smoking indoors? No one should smoke indoors.
- Can you see or smell mold or mildew?
- Is the humidity regularly above 50 percent?
- Are there leaks or standing water anywhere—kitchen, basement, attic?
- Are all fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, water heaters, fireplaces) fully vented to the outdoors and regularly serviced?
- Is there an attached garage or basement where cars, lawnmowers or motorcycles are stored?
- Are household chemicals, paints or solvents stored indoors or in an attached garage or basement?
- Have you recently remodeled or added new furniture, carpeting or painted?
- Do you use odor-masking chemicals or "air-freshening" devices?
- Has kitchen or food garbage been covered and removed?
- Have you used pesticides recently?
- Have you tested your home for radon? Although radon doesn’t cause noticeable, physical symptoms, you should test your home for this dangerous substance.
Approved by Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed December 7, 2017.