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8 Sources of Indoor Air Pollution You May Not Know About

When most people talk about pollution, we think about outdoor pollution due to things like vehicles, industrial smoke, factories, and wildfires. However, did you know that air in your home or office is actually more polluted than the air outside?

Yes, that’s right! Indoor air is 5 times more polluted than outside air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This is because indoor spaces are usually closed which allows the pollutants to build up over time.

These pollutants also come from products we willingly bring into our homes. Even if we use portable air purifiers in our homes and offices, these sources will keep releasing pollutants in closed spaces.

Here are 8 sources of indoor pollution that might be circling through your home.

Blog 14 Medify Air Infographic

Air Fresheners

You might like using fragrant air fresheners to keep your house smelling good, but did you know that these air fresheners contain harmful pollutants that disrupt your biological functions?

U.C. Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that air fresheners contain ethylene based glycol ethers which can disrupt neurological and blood functions. They can also cause anemia, nausea, fatigue, and tremor.

Air fresheners contain phthalates which might disrupt the growth of endocrine systems in children, too. Prolonged exposure causes abnormal development of male genitalia, low testosterone, and sperm production.


You might feel like burning candles for aromatherapy to get some relaxing time after a hectic day, but these candles, mostly made of paraffin, release several harmful pollutants into the air.

Scented Candle

First, they release carbon soot that can cause respiratory issues. Second, paraffin also releases dioxins and acrolein which are responsible for causing lung cancer. Third, paraffin candles also release toluene and benzene which are known carcinogens. And lastly, artificial dyes and fragrances can also affect health.

Cleaning Products

Several cleaning products used to clean surfaces in your house contain alcohol, ammonia, chlorine, and petroleum-based solvents. These pollutants cause sore throat, watery eyes, and headaches.

These products also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues.

Dryer Sheets

You love the soft feel of your fresh, warm laundry. But did you know that your clothes are just coated with a fatty film from using dryer sheets?

Yes, dryer sheets are made with silicon oil, quaternary ammonium salt, and stearic acid. This creates a waxy mixture that coats the clothes with a fatty film due to the heat of the dryer. However, these chemicals are responsible for causing respiratory issues such as asthma.

Kitchen Stove

If you don’t have proper ventilation in the kitchen, it can release harmful pollutants into the house.

The kitchen stove releases nitrogen dioxide that mixes with air to create nitric acid. This nitric acid will irritate your lungs and reduce the ability to combat respiratory diseases such as influenza.

Hence, ventilating your kitchen is critical. Or you can also install the best-selling air purifier in the kitchen to remove this pollutant.



If you bought a new carpet, you might be loving the new carpet smell. However, this new carpet smell occurs due to off-gassing. This releases gases such as ethylene benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, benzene, styrene, bromine, and acetone.

These gasses cause nausea, headaches, sore throat, irritation in the eyes, confusion, allergies, and drowsiness. Prolonged exposure to these gases leads to fertility issues, memory impairment, liver diseases, birth defects, reproductive disorders, and more. 

Over time your carpets will stop off-gassing. However, we will bring toxins, dirt, and dust from the outside via our shoes. These get stuck in the carpet and cause health issues over time.


Most furniture in your home might be coated with fire retardants to prevent them from burning in fire. However, these fire retardants aren’t completely effective.

In fact, the real issue starts when these fire retardants start burning in intensive fire. They produce soot and deadly gases which cause deaths in most fire incidents.

Furniture items such as upholstery chairs, couches, carpet padding, futons, nap mats, changing table mats, and more contain these fire retardants. Some examples of fire retardants include Pentabrominated Diphenyl Ether (Penta BDE), chlorinated Tris (TDCPP), and Firemaster 550 cause respiratory issues, and are categorized as carcinogens.

It has been observed that women exposed to such fire retardants take much longer to get pregnant and have smaller babies. Some studies also show that exposure can cause lower IQ and male reproductive issues such as lower semen production.


Whether you painted your room a few months ago or years ago, it releases some toxins in the air.

For example, older buildings have paints containing lead. Over time the paint chips off and falls giving way to pulverization. Once pulverized, the lead mixes in the indoor dust and gets inhaled by the residents. This can cause several health issues such as dizziness, headaches, asthma, nausea, skin irritation, fatigue, memory impairment, and more. 

Although new paints don’t contain lead, they do contain VOCs. These VOCs keep off-gassing for months causing the health issues mentioned above.

Bottom Line

Although outdoor pollution is harmful to our bodies, indoor pollution can cause much more damage. And these 8 sources are present in our house, some willingly bought by us.

best way to overcome indoor air pollution - HEPA Filter

The best way to overcome indoor air pollution caused by these sources is to use an H13 HEPA filter air purifier. These air purifiers can remove particulate matter, VOCs, dust, dirt, pollen, allergy-causing chemicals, and more such pollutants. 

To get a high-quality air purifier for your home, you can get in touch with us at Medify Air. We have a wide range of air purifiers with HEPA filters, activated charcoal filters, ozone air purification technology, and more. Our air purifiers also contain other features such as sleep mode which make them easy to use in your home during the day and night.

Head to our website to see why thousands of customers choose Medify Air purifiers.


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