Indoor air quality
Canadians spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. Indoor air quality can also affect your health in many ways. Indoor air quality can be affected by climate change. For example, climate change has increased the severity and frequency of floods. After a flood, it's important to quickly restore your home to good order to protect your health and prevent further damage. Standing water and wet materials may allow mould to grow which can present serious health risks.
A changing climate means not just an increase of extreme weather events, such as floods and wildfires, but also an increase in allergens. Elevated outdoor levels of aeroallergens, such as pollen, can infiltrate into buildings and affect allergic diseases. Good indoor filtration and ventilation can help you protect your health in a changing climate.
You can also improve the general indoor air quality of your home by:
- not smoking indoors
- installing and maintaining carbon monoxide alarms
- controlling humidity
- using the exhaust fan when cooking,
- running your heat or energy recovery ventilator continuously if you have one
Learn more about some indoor air pollutants and other ways to improve the air quality inside your home.
What we’re doing to help improve indoor air quality
Developing tools for organizations and individuals
Health Canada creates resources to help you understand the risks to your health from indoor air pollution and the actions you can take to reduce these risks. Some resources include:
- Report: Cleaner air spaces guidance for wildfire smoke events
- Infographic: Flooding cleanup and indoor air quality
- Infographic: Mould
- Infographic: Carbon monoxide
- Factsheet: Protecting your indoor air from outdoor air pollutants
- Factsheet: Choosing a portable air purifier
- Factsheet: Ventilation
- Web content: Radon
Monitoring air quality in new homes
Health Canada is looking for owners of new-build homes to participate in an indoor air quality study. This project will investigate the indoor air quality in newly constructed homes and study pollutant emissions from building products.
Email us to find out how you can participate!
Building product emissions and indoor air quality report
Health Canada published the results of a pilot project studying building materials emissions and indoor air quality in two newly constructed homes.
Guidelines for indoor air quality
The Residential Indoor Air Quality Guidelines, developed for professionals, summarize the health risks of specific indoor pollutants. They also provide information on:
- health effects of indoor air contaminants
- indoor sources of air contaminants
- recommended exposure limits
- how to reduce your exposure to pollutants
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