Indoor Air Pollution and Respiratory Health

Clin Chest Med. 2020 Dec;41(4):825-843. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2020.08.014.


Worldwide, more than 4 million deaths annually are attributed to indoor air pollution. This largely preventable exposure represents a key target for reducing morbidity and mortality worldwide. Significant respiratory health effects are observed, ranging from attenuated lung growth and development in childhood to accelerated lung function decline and is determined by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease later in life. Personal exposure to household air pollutants include household characteristics, combustion of solid fuels, cooking practices, and household pest allergens. This review outlines important sources of indoor air pollution, their respiratory health effects, and strategies to reduce household pollution and improve lung health across the globe.

Keywords: Asthma; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Household air pollution; Indoor air pollution; Lung development; Lung function; Respiratory health effects; Respiratory tract infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases / pathology