Indoor Air Pollution 

The most common harmful airborne chemicals found in the average home or office is formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and carbon monoxide. Even in low concentrations these chemicals can cause a variety of health problems.

Formaldehyde … is found in virtually all indoor environments:

  • Office or household furniture made of particle board or pressed wood products
  • Consumer paper products: grocery bags, paper towels, facial tissues
  • Adhesive binders in floor covering, carpet backing
  • Many common household cleaning agents
  • Natural gas from gas stoves and kerosene
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Permanent-press clothes, water repellent, fire retardants

Benzene … is used in:

  • Commonly used solvents
  • The manufacture of detergents
  • Some pharmaceuticals
  • Oils
  • Paints
  • Plastics
  • Rubber
  • Dyes
  • Synthetic fibers
  • Inks

Trichloroethylene … is used by the metal degreasing and dry cleaning industry and is also found in:

  • Printing inks
  • Paints
  • Varnishes
  • Adhesives
  • Lacquers

Carbon monoxide … is found in:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Fuel-fired furnaces
  • Gas water heaters
  • Fireplaces and woodstoves
  • Gas stoves
  • Gas dryers
 

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