How Bad Can Indoor Air Pollution Get?

Indoor air pollution is often two to five times as bad as outdoor pollution, and in some cases can even be more than 100 times worse than outdoor air. Common sources of indoor air pollution include the burning of heat sources, such as kerosene, coal, wood, oil and gas, as well as the smoking of tobacco and the use of household cleaning products. The effects of indoor air pollution are estimated to be responsible for 2.7% of disease worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Children younger than 5 years old tend to be the most affected because they inhale more air in comparison with their body weight, and they tend to spend the most time in vulnerable areas, such as kitchens and schools.

More about indoor air pollution:

  • Tobacco smoke is a major contributor to air pollution and contains approximately 200 confirmed poisons, including carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.

  • Using solid fuel, such as straw, wood or dung, for heat or cooking contributes to about 1.6 million deaths globally each year and tends to be more prevalent in developing countries.

  • It is estimated that 1.5% of lung cancer cases worldwide are caused by indoor air pollution unrelated to smoking.

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