Indoor air quality


The quality of the air inside our homes, offices, public buildings, schools and so on is affected by many factors, including the quality of the outside air, building materials (particularly volatile materials like glues and paints), ventilation, furnishings, appliances (particularly unflued gas appliances), environmental tobacco smoke and cleaning agents.165-166

Of the factors impacting on indoor air quality, environmental tobacco smoke is of particular concern because it increases the risk of asthma in children and can worsen the symptoms. environmental tobacco smoke is also known to trigger asthma symptoms in adults. Another focus of concern is nitrogen dioxide, the major sources of which are unflued gas heating and cooking appliances, and wood stoves and fireplaces. In winter, when homes are likely to be well sealed, even flued heaters and fireplaces can lead to high indoor levels of nitrogen dioxide due to leaks and poor chimney design.167-168 High nitrogen dioxide levels are associated with coughing, wheezing and asthma attacks. Prolonged exposure to such levels can contribute to the development of acute or chronic bronchitis.151

(2011). Ambient air quality: Indoor air quality. In: Australia state of the environment 2011, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra,, DOI 10.4226/94/58b65c70bc372