10 Things That Pollute Your Home With Harmful Chemicals That You Are Unaware Of

Written by Indrani Karmakar  • 

As kids, most of us played in the dirt all day. And modern-day problems, like dust allergy and pollution didn’t torment us with sneezes like it does today. Air pollution has emerged as an urgent issue for the planet’s ecosystem. And sadly, it is not just restricted to outside the house. The insides can gather enough elements to make you sneeze and cough your lungs out. Indoor air pollution has been linked to major health issues like heart disease, stroke, and even asthma. The air quality in your house may be compromised by several unseen pollutants, some of which we shall discuss today. Read on to know them all.

1. Candles

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Candles are wonderful, even for decoration, but they may be a source of fine particles that might increase one’s exposure to airborne toxins in confined spaces. Inflammation of the lungs has been related to this kind of exposure. Furthermore, formaldehyde, a toxic chemical, is released by scented candles and can have serious consequences for the nasal cavities, paranasal sinuses, and nasopharynx. Experts advise that candle lovers select products produced from soy or beeswax.

2. Air Fresheners

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There are more than a hundred distinct compounds that can be released by air fresheners, notwithstanding their convenience. Several of these chemicals have the potential to form new classes of toxins when they interact with air. Asthma attacks, breathing difficulties, and headaches are all possible side effects of air fresheners. Hence, experts recommend utilizing a fan or opening a window to maintain a fresh scent within your home.

3. Paint

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Storing paint cans in the garage can release VOC emissions, which can pollute the air you breathe both inside and outside your home. When doing house improvements that involve painting, it is best to choose paints with minimal volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.

4. 3D Printers

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In recent years, 3D printers have seen explosive growth in their user base. Unfortunately, the harmful particles released by these gadgets may have an effect on your respiratory system. The plastic filaments within those machines heat up to dangerous levels, releasing even more toxic substances into the air. If you’re using a 3D printer from home, make sure it’s in a well-ventilated location, and don’t go near it while it’s printing.

5. Humidifiers

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To keep your skin soft and supple throughout the dry winter months, a humidifier may be useful. Nevertheless, professionals recommend maintaining relative humidity at or below 50%, since this prevents the growth of mold and dust mites, two major sources of indoor allergen that can aggravate respiratory problems. But, it’s also crucial to maintain these devices and keep them clean since germs can spread from a filthy humidifier and cause health problems.

6. Carpets

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Pet dander, dust, particle pollution, filth, cockroach allergies, and mold spores are just some of the contaminants and allergens that carpets may trap. Moreover, airborne hazardous gasses can bind to dust and other elements that become lodged in carpets. Vacuuming or even stepping on them might unleash these dangerous toxins. In addition, some carpets, and carpet pads, especially their adhesives may contain harmful substances since they contain volatile organic compounds.

7. Fire Place

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When it’s chilly outside, there’s nothing like starting a fire to make your house feel like heaven. Burning wood and then having to clean up the ash may be a major source of air pollution due to the high concentrations of carbon monoxide produced. In addition, wood smoke is known to aggravate respiratory conditions including asthma, wheezing, and coughing.

8. Cleaning Products

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While fresh perfume is always welcome, cleaning solutions with strong scents can contribute to unhealthy levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. Certain household cleaners contain bleach, which, when combined with another popular component called limonene, can increase the quantity of hazardous airborne particulates in your home as you clean. Instead use unscented products and go for natural cleaning materials like baking powder or water & vinegar solutions to reduce pollution caused by cleaning chemicals.

9. Aerosol Sprays

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The aerosols included in cleaning goods and cosmetics contribute significantly to air pollution both indoors and out. Half of all outdoor volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in industrial centers are attributed to aerosol sprays. To help the environment and keep your home’s air as pure as possible, you should limit your use of aerosol spray items.

10. Stoves

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Those with heart problems, asthma, or chronic bronchitis are particularly vulnerable to the nitrogen oxide released by the burning in gas stoves. Furthermore, cooking generates particles that contribute to air pollution.

Even though most of these are things we use every day, that doesn’t mean we are accustomed to them. If you have allergy problems and they don’t improve after regular visits with your doctor, it’s time to check the use of these things at home. What additional sources of indoor pollution are you aware of? Just what steps do you take to combat air quality issues when you’re inside? Put it in the discussion!


  1. Indoor Air Pollution, Related Human Diseases, and Recent Trends in the Control and Improvement of Indoor Air Quality, NCBI
  2. Cancer of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, and formaldehyde exposure, NIH
  3. Fragranced consumer products: effects on asthmatics, NCBI
  4. Migration of volatile organic compounds from attached garages to residences: a major exposure source, NCBI
  5. Emissions and health risks from the use of 3D printers in an occupational setting, NCBI
  6. Humidifiers for oxygen therapy: what risk for reusable and disposable devices? NCBI
  7. Emissions of volatile organic compounds from new carpets measured in a large-scale environmental chamber, NCBI
  8. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as Environmental Pollutants: Occurrence and Mitigation Using Nanomaterials, NCBI
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