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Indoor Air Quality Fact Sheets


AIR FRIENDLY HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS  - The ranges of household products that make our lives easier are also sources of hundreds of potentially harmful chemicals. Some release chemical poisons into the air immediately, while others do so regularly over a long period of time. Either way, the chemicals given off from these products get into the air and into your lungs.


BIOLOGICAL TRIGGERS  - Biological triggers, which come from living or dead organisms, are often invisible and when airborne can be inhaled into the lungs.


CARBON MONOXIDE  - Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced as a result of incomplete burning of carbon-containing fuels. Each year, many Canadians die, become ill or need medical attention from carbon monoxide poisoning related to residential combustion appliances.


CARPETS – OLD & NEW  - Carpets, under padding, and adhesives may be a source of both chemical and biological pollution in your home.


CLEARING THE AIR OF WOOD SMOKE  - Wood smoke can result in many pollutants going into both indoor and outdoor air, especially when old, inefficient stoves or poor wood burning techniques are used.


COMBUSTION POLLUTANTS  - Combustion pollutants result from the burning of any fuel, such as wood, natural gas, gasoline, and even tobacco. Combustion pollution most often results from poor maintenance of mechanical systems and appliances.


MOULD  - Mould refers to fungi that can grow on any surface, such as food and building materials, and it can be any colour, such as black, white, green, or red. Once it grows, mould produces more mould by releasing spores into the air which can easily be inhaled into the lungs.


PESTICIDES AND INDOOR AIR QUALITY  - Pesticides are chemical or biological substances used to destroy living things such as insects (insecticides), plants (herbicides), termites (termicides), rodents (rodenticides) and fungi(fungicides).


PORTABLE AIR CLEANERS (FILTERS) AND OTHER DEVICES   - Deciding whether to purchase a portable air cleaner can be complicated due to the many devices available using different technologies claiming to improve indoor air quality.


PROTECT YOUR LUNGS WITH RESPIRATORY MASKS  - Many of our indoor activities and hobbies involve a variety of materials and chemicals which can be harmful to our lungs. The use of a protective respiratory mask, available from most hardware or safety supply companies, can sometimes be beneficial.


SECOND HAND SMOKE  - Second hand smoke (SHS) is made up of smoke breathed out by smokers and the side stream smoke released from the burning end of cigarettes, cigars and pipes. SHS is more than just a nuisance – it is one of the most harmful indoor air pollutants.