High-risk groups

We spend most of our time indoors. Our activities, the objects and the materials that surround us release substances into the air that can be harmful to health.  


Who are the persons at risk?

Some people are more vulnerable to exposure to toxic substances in the air:

  • pregnant women
  • babies and young children
  • the elderly
  • people with allergies
  • people with respiratory problems (asthma, bronchitis, etc.)


  • According to a study conducted by the CRIPI and WIV-ISP (the former Sciensano) in 2013, requests for indoor air tests based on a medical diagnosis were most frequent in cases of young children aged 1 to 5 years.  
  • Indeed, the prevalence of allergic and respiratory diseases in children has been increasing since the 1990s. In 2004, one in four European children under 10 suffered from allergies.

Pregnant women

Pregnant women should take special care during their pregnancy:

  • to limit the use of chemical cleaning products
  • to avoid DIY, decoration and furnishing work or otherwise aerate as much as possible
  • to limit the use of cosmetics, perfumes and scented products.


In collaboration with the regions, Sciensano carries out sampling and analysis on a number of microbiological pollutants (bacteria, fungi, molds) in private (residential) and public places.

Scientific reports

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