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Inside Story How Your Home Could Be At Fault For Your Poor Health

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Article by Carol Parr

Mitey Fresh Australia Pty Ltd Profile | Email | Website
Mitey Fresh Australia Pty Ltd Building Biologist
Working with me, you and your family will thrive.

They are healthier, alert, happier, more relaxed and enjoying life. Together we can bring about healthy indoor environment, create rooms that provide calmness, healthy sleep, relaxation and restored energy for you and the whole family.
Returning indoor spaces to more natural conditions, we strengthen everyone's bodies, minds and spirit.
Terrey Hills
Australia 2084

Most people do not realise that air pollution is not only outdoors but also indoors. You may be forgiven to think of the cars on the road, or the factories sending plumes of smoke into the sky are major triggers to poor air pollution.

Whilst these areas definitely contribute to pollution, this isn’t the total story. In fact, most people would be shocked to discover, air pollution inside your home is higher than outside your home. Yes, you read it right, your own home may not be the cleanest place you’d have first thought. The problem of contaminated air is way more invasive than most people realise. 

The reality is, we tend to spend a large proportion of our day indoors, in fact, about 90 percent of the day (EPA 1995), exposing us to numerous adverse contaminant triggers within the air. Products we use every day do contain synthetic ingredients that over time exude nasty toxins and bacteria that stays in our surroundings. In fact, the EPA (1995) researched that indoor air quality is in the top 5 risks to public health. Indoor air we’re exposed to is between 2 - 5 times more contaminated than the air we’re all exposed to outside (EPA 1995). Critical factors connected with pollution sources includes carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), intensifying the danger of exposure to air pollutants in homes (Rawa et al, 2004).

Indoor air quality is affected by various factors. These include building practices, ventilation, heating and cooling adequacy, temperature, humidity, type of building materials used and furnishings brought into the space, the character of the contaminants, and emission rates.

Other sources of indoor air pollutants include paints, insulation material, and low cost imitation timbers like MDF, ply wood and chip board, that have already been treated with fungicides and harmful chemicals like formaldehyde. Dyes, chlorine, sulfuric acid contaminants are found in these products and in improvement products, which we tend to use on an everyday basis within our homes. Even the markers, paints, and stationary that we give our kids contain harsh chemicals they breathe in. 

Furnishings, carpets, bedding and fabrics that contain flame retardants, stain resistant materials and wrinkle proof textiles may casue adverse health effects. These are things which we often could never have expected.

Also take into account the impact everyday items like cosmetics and cleaning products have on your indoor air quality - air fresheners, pesticides, food packaging, and plastics which contain harmful chemicals and contaminants formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. 

Insulation and ventilation are of importance to protect the building against the weather and keeping the occupants comfortable. Where pollutants are present in indoor environments, they'll usually stick around for a long time, depending on the ventilation levels and whether they are natural or mechanical.

Carol Parr is a Building Biologist and healthy home guru. She has worked with families with respiratory and hypersensitivity problems for over twenty years, specializing in mould, dust mites, chemicals, EMFs and WiFi. Visit her at



U.S. EPA. Indoor Air Quality 1995. The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality. (Online). Available: August 30, 2012


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 2012. The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality. (Online). Available: [August 30, 2012]


Gary J Rawa, Sara K D Cowarda, Veronica M Browna and Derrick R Crumpa 2004, “Exposure to air pollutants in English homes”, Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology, [Online], 14, S85–S94. doi:10.1038/sj.jea.7500363

Available: [29 May 2015].




4 Dec 2017

Last Update: 10 Dec 2017

Article/Information supplied by Carol Parr

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.