Indoor Air Quality News and Research

With the EPA naming indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to health, research on indoor air pollution has exploded and the subject is increasingly in the news. We will post the latest news and research on our home page and archive it here, so check back often!

Phthalates Can Be Inhaled as Well as Ingested

phthalates in indoor air

Jan 25, 2018. Phthalates are toxic chemicals used ubiquitously in household products, including vinyl flooring, household cleaners and personal care products. Although the average person’s greatest exposure to phthalates is through eating food packaged in plastic, phthalate vapours and particles are also in the air where they can be inhaled. Long-term effects of phthalate exposure include damage to the reproductive system, disrupted hormone cycles and sexual dysfunction. Source: Reports HealthCare

Feeling Sick? It May Be Your New Furniture

new furniture may make you sick

Jan 5, 2018. A major source of indoor air pollution is off-gassing from new furnishings, with carpets, cabinets and particleboard furniture being the worst offenders. In fact, 4 of the top 10 chemicals emitted by furniture are classified as acute respiratory irritants or probable carcinogens. While manufacturers are not forced to disclose the hazardous chemicals used in their products, low-emission furniture certified by testing programs such as Greenguard can help consumers choose wisely. Source: Washington Post

Living Near A Busy Road Can Increase Risk of Asthma in Adults

road pollution can cause asthma

Dec 18, 2017. New research coming out of Australia has scientists warning people about the hazards of living near a busy road. The study shows that middle-aged adults living within 200m of a major road have a 50% higher risk of developing asthma and weak lung function. Australia has relatively low levels of NO2 and other traffic pollutants, suggesting that even air pollution levels regarded as “safe” can have negative health effects. Source: Medical Xpress

Prenatal Exposure to Air Pollutants Could Accelerate Aging

air quality affects aging

Dec 1, 2017. A recent study on over 600 women showed that exposure to high levels of PM2.5 air pollutants during pregnancy resulted in newborns with shortened telomere lengths in placental tissue. Telomere length is used as a marker for biological age, with shorter lengths at birth believed to be associated with reduced life expectancy. This supports previous research linking poor air quality with faster aging in adult cells. Source: Medical News Bulletin

Submicron Oil Droplets from Frying Food May Affect Indoor Air Quality

oil droplets and air quality

Nov 20, 2017. A research team from Texas has determined that frying food in hot oil (e.g., stir-frying or deep-frying) can release an explosion of tiny oil droplets that are small enough to be inhaled. The explosive reaction occurs when even a single water droplet from the food comes in contact with the hot oil. The group is now studying the extent to which these cooking-based aerosols contribute to indoor air pollution in poorly ventilated kitchens. Source: Science Daily

Toxic Chemicals Found in Green Housing Point to Need for Better Standards

toxic chemicals in renovated housing

Oct 20, 2017. Researchers in Boston tested public housing units that were newly renovated according to green building standards for over 100 different toxic chemicals. Results indicated the presence of harmful levels of chemicals such as flame retardants, solvents used in paint/floor finishes and formaldehyde. Several chemicals that have been long banned for health reasons (e.g., pesticides) were also detected in some units. Source: Science Daily

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