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Living can be pretty risky sometimes. We all face a variety of threats to our safety as we move about, attend work, play games, live life. Some risks are unavoidable and some we choose to accept as they are. But sometimes, how risky a situation is depends on the actions that we take. Indoor air pollution is a risk we can do something about.

With more office-based jobs and at-home recreation choices, we are all spending an increasing amount of time indoors. People living in industrialized regions like the U.S. and Europe spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors. It makes sense to us that indoor air quality should be better than outdoor air quality. But as it turns out, that is not the case. Indoor air pollution is a real threat that presents real dangers.

Indoor air pollution comes from a variety of sources. By themselves, each individual indoor air pollution source may not be that dangerous. But the individual pollutants can add up to a significant cumulative risk. The risk of health damage from indoor air pollution also increases over time, as we are exposed to this pollutant cocktail day after day. People at greatest risk are those who spend the most time indoors–young children, the elderly, and people suffering from chronic diseases.

Indoor air pollution is a clear and present danger. Fortunately, it is possible to fight back. Most people can take steps to reduce or eliminate existing sources of indoor air pollution, as well as preventing the introduction of new pollutant sources into their home or office.