As Canadians we live most of our lives indoors. Perhaps as much as 80% to 90% of our time is spent breathing indoor air. Just as Alberta’s Airsheds monitor outdoor air quality in our communities, we need to pay attention to the quality of the air within our homes and indoor spaces.
Tobacco smoke, cooking fumes, dust, mould and vapors from building materials, paints, and furniture can cause pollution inside buildings. Also, radon is a natural radioactive gas released from the earth and can be found concentrated in some basements in unsafe quantities.
Individuals are encouraged to test your homes for radon, and every home should have a working carbon monoxide alarm and smoke detector.
Easy ways to reduce exposure to indoor air pollution include:
- clean with a mop, damp cloth or HEPA vacuum
- keep your home free of tobacco smoke
- reduce the use of candles and incense in your home
- move dusty work outside such as cutting and sanding for renovation projects
- ensure furnaces, wood stoves and fireplaces are installed and working properly
- have chimneys cleaned annually
- use the hood fan when you cook
- control humidity to prevent mould growth
- never idle your vehicles in your attached garage or near doors and windows
- never use a barbecue or generator indoors or in your attached garage
To reduce damaging health impacts particularly for the very young, older adults and those with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, indoor air pollution should be controlled and prevented. For more information, visit the Government of Canada indoor air quality web page.