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It has been clearly established that indoor air pollution is a serious threat to health and safety. The risk of health effects are greater the more time people spend indoors. How can you tell if indoor air pollution is a current or potential problem in your house?

The most immediate indicator that you might have a problem with indoor air pollution is the presence of any health effects. Symptoms like irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, dizziness or persistent fatigue may clue you in to an indoor air pollution problem. This is especially true if symptoms appear soon after moving into a new home, or after remodeling or refurnishing an existing home.

Taking a survey of potential indoor air pollution sources will also help you figure out if this could be a problem now or in the future. This assessment of potential sources is a good first step toward understanding your particular indoor air pollution situation.

Look out for signs of poor ventilation. Poor ventilation can have a significant impact on the indoor air pollution concentrations in your home. Be alert for moisture on windows or walls, stuffy air, or dirty heating and air conditioning equipment. Watch for mold on books or shoes. After some time outside, be aware of how your house smells when you enter. Odors can indicate the presence of indoor air pollution.