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Review
, 179 (2), 147-52

Quality of Indoor Residential Air and Health

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Review

Quality of Indoor Residential Air and Health

Robert Dales et al. CMAJ.

Abstract

About 90% of our time is spent indoors where we are exposed to chemical and biological contaminants and possibly to carcinogens. These agents may influence the risk of developing nonspecific respiratory and neurologic symptoms, allergies, asthma and lung cancer. We review the sources, health effects and control strategies for several of these agents. There are conflicting data about indoor allergens. Early exposure may increase or may decrease the risk of future sensitization. Reports of indoor moulds or dampness or both are consistently associated with increased respiratory symptoms but causality has not been established. After cigarette smoking, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and radon are the most common causes of lung cancer. Homeowners can improve the air quality in their homes, often with relatively simple measures, which should provide health benefits.

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