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Air

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, Barbara Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Healthy Homes

We tend to forget that environmental problems are not restricted to outside habitats (natural or urban). Most people’s homes, offices and schools are the “environments” in which we spend most of the day and night. Since we spend so much time inside, the quality of our indoor environments is very important.

Indoor air can be polluted by many sources. Some indoor air pollutants are so irritating that they can bother anyone who breathes them. These include paints, asbestos fibers, smoke, cleaners, insect sprays and chemicals used on fabrics. Other pollutants can cause more problems for some people than for others. For example, some people are allergic to dust. When they breathe dusty air, people with dust allergies may start to sneeze, or experience runny noses and itchy eyes. Once in a while, dusty air can cause serious breathing problems, such as those associated with asthma.

How can we keep the air inside our homes and other buildings clean and safe to breathe? A little common sense goes a long way. We can be careful about using chemical cleaners, paints, glues and pesticides. Even better, we can use products that don’t pollute. We can reduce the amount of dust in the air by regularly changing the filters in our home heating and cooling systems. We can eliminate some sources of indoor air pollution, such as tobacco smoke, completely.


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932


Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education