What is IAQ – Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants

Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants

How do air pollutants enter a home?

There are many possible sources of air pollutants in homes. Following are some common sources/causes:

  • renovation work
  • burning of fuels in gas stoves and ovens
  • building and furnishing materials
  • new pressed-wood furniture
  • using consumer products containing volatile organic compounds, such as cosmetics, fragrance products, cleaning agents and pesticides
  • dry-cleaned clothing
  • smoking
  • damp environment causing mould growth
  • poor housekeeping or inadequate cleaning
  • poor ventilation causing accumulation of biological contaminants and other air pollutants
Home Environment

How do air pollutants enter offices / public places?

There are many possible sources of air pollutants in offices / public places. Following are some common types of pollutants:


Chemical pollutants

  • ozone from photocopiers
  • emissions from office equipment, furniture, wall and floor coverings
  • consumer products containing volatile organic compounds, such as cleaning agents and pesticides


Airborne particles

  • particles of dust, dirt, or other substances drawn into the building from outside
  • activities in buildings, like sanding wood, printing, copying, operating equipment, and smoking

Biological contaminants

  • excessive level of bacteria, viruses, and mould growth
  • inadequate maintenance and housekeeping
  • water problems, including water spills, leakages and condensation, not promptly and properly fixed
  • inadequate humidity control
  • brought into the building by occupants, infiltration, or through the fresh air intake
Office Environment

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