What Makes Indoor Air Unhealthy?

Learn about indoor air pollutants and sources of indoor air pollution.

Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of infections, lung cancer and chronic lung diseases such as asthma. People who already have lung disease are at greater risk. Find out what makes indoor air unhealthy and how pollution can hurt your body.

Building Construction and Furnishings

Some construction processes and products, like paint and carpets, can make the air we breathe indoors unhealthy. Learn about the harmful pollutants found in building construction and furnishings.

Fuel-Burning Appliances

Fuel-burning appliances including cooking stoves, furnaces and water heaters can create emissions that are harmful to our health and the environment.

Learn more about the health impacts of combustion in homes.

Moisture and Water

Excessive moisture indoors can cause mold problems and can also promotes the growth of dust mites, cockroaches, bacteria and viruses, which can impact health. Learn about the sources of moisture, how mold grows, and how to protect your health.


People and their activities can create indoor air pollution that can lead to poor health.

Outdoor Sources

Outdoor air pollutants and allergens can easily enter buildings through open doors and windows, as well as on shoes, clothing, pets, and even through cracks in your foundation.

Scents and Chemicals

Scents and chemicals are all around us, both indoors and outdoors. Some are natural, while others are synthetic. Some are safe, while others can be harmful to our health.


Page last updated: June 7, 2024

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