Indoor air pollution is more dangerous than the outdoor one

On 22 September, the Joint Research center of the Commission released a remarkable study on the health risks of indoor air pollution.

Statistically Europeans spend on average 85 to 90 per cent of their time indoors at home, in school, at work or during leisure time. A new study from the EU Joint Research Center (JRC) reveals that indoor air pollution can present high health risks. Findings indicate that indoor air can be at least twice as polluted as outdoor air, with dangerous chemicals coming from carpets, furnishings, paint and computers.

The JRC found that up to 20 per cent of the population suffers from asthma and other allergic diseases caused by substances present in indoor environments. In addition, indoor pollutants such as tobacco smoke, radon, asbestos and benzene may substantially contribute to the increase of cancer incidents in the population.

Tests also showed that higher ventilation rates in buildings and homes to reduce air pollution caused by tobacco smoke would not greatly improve indoor air quality.


Commenting on the results of this research,Research Commissioner Philippe Busquinsaid that the EU will now upgrade its indoor pollution monitoring and response capabilities in order to remedy the information deficit about the risks indoors.


Indoor air pollution is caused by a variety of sources that release gases or particles into interior spaces. Air quality further deteriorates if there is insufficient ventilation, dilution with cleaner outdoor air is limited and if additional factors such as high temperature and humidity are added.



Life Terra

Funded by the LIFE Programme of the EU

The content of this publication represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The Agency does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

Subscribe to our newsletters