Causes of Indoor Air Pollution and Their Effects

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution and Their Effects

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution and Their Effects

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution and Their Effects

Today, approximately 90% of the time is spent indoors. Indoor air unlike outdoor air doesn’t get recycled continuously causing it to trap and build up pollutants. This thus leads to building of a harmful indoor environment for humans. This article explains the Causes of Indoor Air Pollution and Their Effects on Human health.

We want our indoor environment to be fresh and pollution free.

Don’t we?

So, for this we should first know what indoor air quality (IAQ) is.

What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Indoor air quality can be defined as quality of air indoors (buildings) as represented by concentration of pollutants and thermal conditions that affect the health, comfort and performance of occupants.

Poor indoor air quality has short term and long term effects on human health.

Health effects of poor indoor air quality on human health are:-

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Throat, eye or nose irritation
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Sick building syndrome
  • Legionnaires disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Asthma

Indoor air pollution - Ashtma

Sources of Indoor air quality Pollutants

The sources and pollutants of indoor air pollution resulting in effects of above mentioned effects on human health are:-

Causes of Indoor air Pollution Pollutants
Fireplace, woodstove, Tobacco smoke, automobile exhaust (attached garage) CO, CO2, NOx, SO2, PAHs, PM


Tobacco products Environmental tobacco smoke, PM
Paints, Aerosol sprays, varnishes, wood preservatives, Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Interior plywood, nail polish, glue and adhesives Formaldehyde
Pesticides, Herbicides, Insecticides


Building material, Soil or well water Radon
Biological contaminants


Bacteria, Mold, Fungi
Fire proofing, deteriorating or damaged insulation Asbestos

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution and Their Effects

Learn More about Commercial Air Quality Testing.

To obtain a healthy pollution free indoor environment i.e to obtain good indoor air quality, we must monitor IAQ.

Indoor air quality monitoring procedure

IAQ monitoring involves analysis and survey methodology to understand and grade indoor air quality

It makes consideration of following points during monitoring procedure:-

  • Type of building, no of residents or no of workers
  • Health and comfort assessment
  • Prior health illness, diseases assessment
  • HVAC system performance monitoring
  • Air quality analysis
  • Investigation (Source of pollution)
  • Recommendations to improve indoor air quality

Indoor air quality testing

In air quality analysis it measures following parameters:

  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  • Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
  • Oxides of nitrogen (NOx)
  • Particulate matter (PM)
  • Air velocity
  • Humidity
  • Temperature

read More about Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Parameters

Monitoring procedure for indoor air quality

Monitoring procedure for IAQ takes into consideration of following points before starting analysis

  • Selection of sampling location
  • Selection of parameters to be analysed
  • Consideration of Monitoring duration
  • Consideration of number of samples to be taken

Indoor air quality testing company – Perfect Pollucon Services

Indoor Air quality Instruments

Some instruments and software used to carry out analysis of Indoor air quality

Instrument/Software Parameter
Thermo-Hygrometer Temperature, Humidity
DustTrak CO, PM1, PM2.5, PM10, SOx, NO2
Ecotect, Autodesk flow simulation, Fusion Simulation of air velocity, air flow, wind


Once monitoring of IAQ is performed, we can compare the results with standards provided by National Building Code (2016). National Building Code (2016) standards have been designed for Indian buildings.

  • Temperature – 26 ± 2º C
  • Humidity – 40% to 70%
  • Air velocity – 1.2 m/s (minimum requirement)
  • PM – 60 µg/m3
  • SO2 – 80 µg/m3
  • CO – 20 mg/ m3
  • HC – 1800 µg/m3
  • NOx – 200 µg/m3

On comparison with Indoor air Quality standards we can easily get an idea about the quality of our indoor air.

Read more Which plants keep indoor air clean and Fresh?

Indoor air of good quality is important to have a healthy life. Knowing about your indoor air quality and maintaining quality of indoor air will definitely help us in the long run.




1 thought on Causes of Indoor Air Pollution and Their Effects

  1. David Jones says:

    Air Pollution is one the major factors affecting our health. Due to the pollution in the city our environment is getting polluted and hence we are not able to get fresh air. Thanks for sharing the information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.