You're probably exposed to more particles and allergens than you think:
The EPA ranks indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public
87% of American homeowners are not aware that pollution may be worse inside their
homes than outdoors.
EPA studies indicate that indoor levels of many pollutants may be 25 times, and occasionally
more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels. In general, indoor air is four to
five times more polluted than outdoor air.
Many ordinary activities such as cooking, cleaning and redecorating can spread indoor
Most homes built after 1979 have tighter insulation wraps that trap smoke, odors
and other irritants indoors.
Exactly what is in the air you breathe at home?
Flowers are a source of pollen, but trees are the main culprits for allergy sufferers.
Many trees, such as birch, alder and pine trees, rely on the wind instead of insects
to distribute their pollen. Pollen is often carried into your home on clothes, through
pets and through the air.
Pollen allergy (hay fever or allergic rhinitis) affects an estimated 10% or 26 million
Americans, not including those with asthma.
One of the most common home allergens, dust mites can lurk in bedding, upholstery
and almost any other soft material, generating irritating waste particles that can
Home furnishings are great hiding places for dust, smoke and other allergens. They
can also release potentially harmful pollutants that come from the processes to manufacture
About 40,000 dust mites, a common cause and trigger of household allergies, can be
found in only one ounce of dust.
Dander from pets can float in the air and cause reactions in sensitive family members
36.1% of U.S. households have dogs; 31.1% have cats.
Cat allergen is “sticky” and adheres to clothing and other surfaces.
In public places (such as schools and commercial buildings) and homes that don’t
have pets, dog and cat allergens are found at levels capable of inducing allergic
Poor indoor air quality may affect your health:
Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the United States, costing
the health care system $18 billion annually.
According to a study by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, indoor air contaminants
are responsible for or aggravate half of all illnesses.
More than 15 million Americans are estimated to have asthma, including one in thirteen
Asthma in children is the cause of almost 5 million physician visits and more than
200,000 hospitalizations per year.
Because they breathe faster than adults, children inhale 50% more air per pound of
body weight than adults and are especially sensitive to air quality problems.
Upper respiratory tract infections cause about 65% of all sick days.
The estimated economic impact of non-influenza-related upper respiratory tract infections
is $40 billion annually.
An estimated 11.8 million lost school days per year are attributed to asthma, making
it the leading cause of school absenteeism due to a health condition.
Approximately 35 million Americans suffer from upper respiratory symptoms that are
allergic reactions to airborne allergens.