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Common Indoor Air Pollutants

In some cases indoor air quality in your home is worse than the outdoor air. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollutants are up to two to five times more concentrated than the outside. With the increased time being spent inside our homes, it’s important that we take control of our health.

Air quality in our home is something that we can control through residential air quality services; however, understanding the culprit is the first step to eliminating these health hazards. Here are eight of the most common indoor air pollutants that cause risks to our overall health.


This radioactive gas occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in water, soil, and stones. This radon gas is colorless, odorless, and is around almost anywhere in lower levels. Radon can even get inside your home through the cracks in the floors and walls, ventilation, pipeline, and other concrete joints. 

This is a very dangerous gas and one that you should be aware of. It’s the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and overall in the United States it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer. It’s important to frequently check your radon levels to ensure you have normal levels in the air. Your home must be properly ventilated for this to occur.


Lead exposure is highly prevalent in paints through inhalation. It originates from many different sources, including soil and contaminated water. The main causes are kidney, brain, nervous system, and red blood cell cell damage. There are an array of symptoms that it causes in children. If you have an older home it’s important to ensure that the paint in your home doesn’t contain lead.

We have known about this lead exposure for some time, so it’s not as common as it used to be. It’s even now illegal for businesses to manufacture paint with lead in it.

Combustion Products

Some combustion pollutants include nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and water vapor. These pollutants are produced by gas appliances such as furnaces and water heaters. They can seep into your home if the appliances aren’t vented properly to the outside or if the air pressure on a gas appliance backdrafts due to them not being sealed.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a corrosive and toxic gas that causes irritation to the throat, nose, eyes, and respiratory tract. High doses of this gas can cause pulmonary edema and serious lung injuries. Moderate doses cause chronic or acute bronchitis, while low exposure may lead to impaired lung function in people with asthma, children, and people with obstructive lung disease.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas. It’s important to have a CO detector in your home, so you will be aware if this gas enters your home. This gas can be deadly if inhaled in large amounts. It can also cause dizziness and unconsciousness. One way to fight this issue is by keeping the appliances in your home properly ventilated.

While it might provide a nice, relaxing setting wood fireplaces and wood stoves can release harmful particles into your home. Wood smoke can be dangerous if your home is ventilated properly. Making sure that the combustion appliances in your home are well-maintained and correctly installed is one way to help keep these substances out of your house.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)

These compounds derive from numerous cleaning agents that we use in our homes and businesses including detergents, bleach, air fresheners, and aerosol sprays. Some paints, upholstery cleaners, and varnishes also carry these harmful substances.

Exposure to these compounds causes irritation in the throat, eyes, and nose. Common symptoms include nausea and headaches, and long-term issues such as liver failure, kidney damage, and neurological problems. To completely eliminate VOC’s, it’s important to buy natural cleaning products to keep your house polished and healthy.

Asthma and Allergy Triggers

Allergy and asthma triggers include mildew, pet dander,  mold, dust mites, and many others. These irritants can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks to those in your indoor spaces. Be aware of the common symptoms of these allergy and asthma triggers. The key solution is to ensure air circulation is prevalent in your indoor space, keeping your space properly ventilated, adding an air purifier or humidifier, and fixing any issues that cause water leaking throughout your home or business.

Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco smoke contains an abundant amount of hazardous particles and gases. Cigarettes have a significant health consequence for smokers, nonsmokers, and especially children. Secondhand smoke worsens the symptoms of asthma. In adults, this smoke is known to exacerbate respiratory health symptoms and is associated with coronary irritation and heart disease.

When a cigarette is smoked, the dangerous particles can stay in the air for around five hours. If you or someone you know smokes inside, it’s important that your house is well-ventilated so your indoor air quality doesn’t suffer for days after. Of course, the best way to keep your indoor air quality performing its best is not to smoke indoors.  Ask us about the iWave air purifier and what it can do to help the smoke and air inside your home. Learn more about the iWave here.


Formaldehyde is naturally occurring in adhesives, paints, cigarette smoke, pressed-wood products and furniture, incense, and a variety of many other building materials. Formaldehyde is a human carcinogen, and tends to have a very strong smell that aggravates the respiratory tract. Other side effects include lung damage, irritating the nervous system, and being a trigger to asthma attacks.

The goal is to keep this dangerous compound away from your home and business. One way to do this is to avoid using pressed-wood products, promote low emission products and furniture, and make action to ventilate your home adequately and ensure there is proper air flow. 


Asbestos is a mineral that is used to insulate different construction materials. This mineral is very harmful when it is in the air. Most commonly causes lung disorders such as cancer and asbestosis. Asbestosis is a serious inflammatory condition that creates issues breathing, coughing, and even permanent lung damage if you don’t get help.

This mineral fiber is found in heat resistant fabrics, tiles, coatings, roofing materials, cement, and a variety of other materials. If your home or business contains products with asbestos, it’s crucial that you keep them in good condition so the mineral does not enter the air stream. On the other hand, you can get the help of a professional to properly remove these dangerous products.

Contact CW Suter Services Today

If you believe you’re having issues with your indoor air quality be sure to give us a call at 712-252-3007. We have service that suits you in all of Siouxland and surrounding areas. Our team will diagnose any issues and provide product recommendations to ensure you have a healthy home and help you learn how air purifiers, humidifiers, or dehumidifiers can be beneficial for your indoor air quality.