To meet the demands for energy conservation, we have built our homes to keep fresh air out. As we increase our home’s efficiency, we also become more efficient at trapping contaminants. That means the air inside our homes — the air we breathe every day — is likely to be more polluted than the air outdoors. Up to 50 times more.
The most harmful contaminants in our homes are airborne particulates that are invisible to the naked eye. Particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in size, including fine particles less than 2.5 micrometers, penetrate deep into the lungs, causing serious health problems.
Evidence from community studies links particulate exposure to premature death, increased hospitalization, school absence, and lost work days due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases like asthma. People most at risk are children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory problems.