Yes. The changes you can make depend on the source of your contaminants.
Sources of indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution can come from both outdoor or indoor sources. Some chemicals are directly emitted from aerosols, cleaning products, soft furnishings, flooring, the surfaces of building materials and other products.
- moulds and fungi
- dust mites
- bacteria causing Legionnaires' disease from spa pools
- formaldehyde emitted by processed wood products such as particleboard
- brominated flame retardants emitted by computers and some furniture
- volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from new carpets and curtains or dry-cleaned clothing and furnishings
- solvents and resins used in manufacturing materials
- automotive exhausts from attached garages
- ceiling dust from the roof cavity
Pollutants from renovating
- asbestos fibres from fibro
- copper chrome arsenate from treated timber
- lead from old paint
- VOCs from lacquers and paints
Ways to minimise indoor air pollution
Keep indoor spaces well-ventilated so pollutants from indoor sources and moisture do not build up, especially in humid rooms like bathrooms. Moisture control is important as dampness encourages both dust mites and mould, which can impact on your health.
Take these steps to remove or limit indoor air pollution:
do not allow smoking
ensure fuel-burning appliances are well maintained and inspected regularly
vent stoves and flue gas heaters outdoors
ensure any leaks and cracks in walls, floors and roofs are fixed
keep your home clean: dust and vacuum regularly, clean any mould immediately
do not idle your car or run other fuel-burning engines in an attached garage
keep any doors between your garage and home closed
do not store paints, solvents or varnishes inside
consider replacing carpets with bare floors, as carpets can trap indoor pollutants
choose low-toxic timber flooring or timber varnishes
choose non-polluting or low-emission paints, sealants, adhesives, insulation and wood products and cleaning products
choose formaldehyde-free wood products.
About indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution can pose a risk to health. As we spend so much time indoors, it is important that the air is as clean as possible.
This information is provided by NSW Health, the agency responsible for indoor air quality issues in NSW.