5 Common Indoor Air Pollutants and How to Test for Them | Oxygen Plus

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5 Common Indoor Air Pollutants and How to Test for Them

November 30, 2023 5 min read

    5 common indoor air pollutants and how to test for them

    In today’s modern world, ensuring the purity and cleanliness of the air that circulates our living spaces is more crucial than ever. The emphasis needs to be not solely on outdoor air quality and pollution but also on indoor air quality. Poor air quality inside homes and offices can result in myriad health problems, including allergies, asthma and other respiratory issues. This article will delve into some of the common sources of poor indoor air quality, symptoms that might arise, and offer some insight into ways to conduct an indoor air quality test.

    Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality

    symptoms of poor indoor air quality

    Exposure to poor indoor air can result in varied health symptoms. Acute signs include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, as well as headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Long-term exposure to polluted indoor air can result in respiratory diseases, heart disease and even cancer. Early detection and resolution can help prevent these health risks, which is why it’s prudent to perform an indoor air quality test.

    Potential Short-Term Symptoms of Exposure to Poor Indoor Air Quality:

    • Eye Irritation
    • Nasal Discomfort
    • Throat Irritation
    • Headaches
    • Dizziness
    • Fatigue

    Potential Long-Term Symptoms of Exposure to Poor Indoor Air Quality:

    • Respiratory Diseases
    • Heart Disease
    • Cancer

    Common Indoor Air Problems

    Common indoor air problems

    As we strive to make our home and place of work a haven of comfort and safety, understanding and addressing indoor air problems is a crucial part of overall wellness. Dangerous pollutants may silently pervade our indoor environments, diminishing the quality of the air we breathe and causing an array of health concerns. Some of the most common sources for indoor air problems – and how to test for them – are outlined below:

    1. Dust Mites

    Dust mites are tiny organisms that thrive in household dust. They can exacerbate allergies and asthma, leading to symptoms like sneezing, congestion and itchy eyes. There are ready-to-purchase tests for dust mites, and you can also check for them if you own a microscope. You can reduce the incidence of dust mites in your home by regularly dusting, decluttering, washing bedding regularly, and vacuuming carpets and upholstery. You can also reduce the humidity in your home using a dehumidifier, dust mites thrive in humid environments and by maintaining indoor humidity levels below 50% you can help keep this problem under control.  

    2. Pet Dander

    Pet dander consists of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds, and other animals with fur or feathers. These can cause allergic reactions and exacerbate respiratory issues like asthma. Unfortunately, there is no ready-to-purchase test for pet dander in your home, but you can test yourself for allergies to pet dander. You can minimize exposure to pet dander by regular grooming and creating pet-free zones where people affected with these allergies can retreat into. Being especially diligent in cleaning carpets and other areas pets occupy frequently is another key to maintaining good indoor air quality.

    3. Mold

    Mold spores can cause various health issues, such as throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, coughing and skin irritation. It thrives in damp, humid environments and can be controlled by managing humidity levels and quickly drying areas that have experienced a significant amount of water. Be on the lookout for mold after a substantial rain event, especially in basements and attics. There are a variety of ways to test your home for mold, the most popular are air sampling and surface sampling. Even if you don’t think the mold in your basement isn’t a big deal because no one goes down there, you should address the issue as it can cause damage to your home's structure, and the mold spores can travel to other parts of your home which can cause serious illness. 

    4. Pollen

    Pollen from outdoor plants can infiltrate homes, exacerbating allergies and respiratory conditions such as asthma, and creating a discomforting living environment. The minuscule size of pollen grains allows them to easily pass through window screens, doors, and other unsealed openings. You can test pollen levels at home with a test kit that gets analyzed in a laboratory. Pollen intrusion can be effectively mitigated using high-efficiency air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters. Homeowners can also take preventative measures such as installing weather stripping around doors and windows, using high-quality window screens, and keeping windows and doors closed during high pollen seasons, particularly during windy days. 

    5. Household Products

    Many household products, such as cleaning agents, scented plugins, paints, and personal care items, release pollutants – including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – which can cause health issues such as headaches, dizziness and respiratory issues. Dangerous compounds from household products can be detected by electronic “smart home” monitoring systems or through a sample that you collect and send to be analyzed in a lab. The use of aerosol sprays further disperses these chemicals into the air, exacerbating their impact. Some cleaning products contain harsh chemicals like ammonia and bleach, which can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation, and may also contribute to chronic respiratory conditions or exacerbate existing ones like asthma. Opting for natural, non-toxic cleaning products or making homemade cleaners from substances like vinegar and baking soda can help mitigate these risks, promoting better indoor air quality and overall health.

    Oxygen Plus: A Temporary, Readily-Available Air Quality Solution

    While investigating and resolving your home’s air quality issues, Oxygen Plus can be a beneficial solution to breathing better air by providing you with a supplemental source of high-quality air. Filled with 99.5% pure oxygen, these portable and convenient recreational oxygen canisters – which are made in a clean-room at a FDA-Registered Facility – guarantee to deliver air concentrated to more than five times the concentration of unpolluted, everyday air. Of course, breathing intermittent breaths from a canister of oxygen is not a long-term solution to indoor air problems, however it can help mitigate exposure to poor air quality in its ability to provide pure canned oxygen, which also delivers peace-of-mind for the wellness-minded individual.

    Addressing indoor air quality is paramount for safeguarding your health and the health of your loved ones. Utilize an indoor air quality monitor, know the symptoms, understand the sources of pollution and take proactive steps to improve indoor air quality. By doing an indoor air quality test and taking appropriate steps to ensure you’re breathing unpolluted indoor air, you can breathe easier with the knowledge you have a healthier, cleaner and more safe environment in your home or workplace.


    Oxygen Plus (O+) products, which contain pure recreational oxygen, are intended for recreational, intermittent use only, not to be used as medical nor life-saving products. Prolonged use is defined as uninterrupted intake for more than 8 hours. Any person with any type of health or medical condition should consult their physician prior to the use of O+ products.Since O+ is not a medical product or intended for medical use, it is neither regulated nor approved by the FDA. 

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