Indoor Air Quality in Buildings: A Comprehensive Review on the Factors Influencing Air Pollution in Residential and Commercial Structure

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Mar 22;18(6):3276. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18063276.


Worldwide people tend to spend approximately 90% of their time in different indoor environments. Along with the penetration of outside air pollutants, contaminants are produced in indoor environments due to different activities such as heating, cooling, cooking, and emissions from building products and the materials used. As people spend most of their lives in indoor environments, this has a significant influence on human health and productivity. Despite the two decades of indoor air quality (IAQ) research from different perspectives, there is still a lack of comprehensive evaluation of peer-reviewed IAQ studies that specifically covers the relationship between the internal characteristics of different types of building environments with IAQ to help understand the progress and limitations of IAQ research worldwide. Therefore, this review of scientific studies presents a broad spectrum of pollutants identified in both residential and commercial indoor environments, highlighting the trends and gaps in IAQ research. Moreover, analysis of literature data enabled us to assess the different IAQs in buildings located in different countries/regions, thus reflecting the current global scientific understanding of IAQ. This review has the potential to benefit building professionals by establishing indoor air regulations that account for all indoor contaminant sources to create healthy and sustainable building environments.

Keywords: indoor air pollution; influencing factors indoor; office indoor pollutants; residential indoor pollutants; school indoor pollutants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants* / analysis
  • Air Pollution*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor* / analysis
  • Humans


  • Air Pollutants