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

How to prevent indoor air pollution?

The best way to avoid polluting indoor air is to make every effort to prevent pollutants from entering the home, especially chemical pollutants. 

As a first step, the sources of pollutants must be kept to a minimum, in particular by avoiding toxic products.  

As we do not live in an aseptic environment, some polluting substances will inevitably be found in the air of your home. To prevent them from accumulating day after day, you have to maintain your home regularly through cleaning and ventilating.

DID YOU KNOW? There are guide values for certain chemicals beyond which adverse health effects are observed. On the other hand, it is more difficult to establish such values for mites and molds. In part, because of the allergy-type pathologies they cause, which vary according to the sensitivity of the person and the exposure. 

Limit the sources of pollutants

  • Do not smoke indoors
  • Regularly maintain your heaters (boiler, water heater, wood stove, etc.)
  • Check the humidity level in the air (35<65 %) and the ambient temperature (20°C)
  • Avoid toxic cleaning products and limit yourself to only a few products
  • Make sure you buy products with an eco-label (paint, etc.)
  • Do not use scented candles and incense

Keep your home clean

  • Germs (mites, bacteria, molds, etc.) and their products (allergens, endotoxins, mycotoxins) accumulate in dust. It is therefore essential that you clean your home regularly.
  • Remember! Be sure to limit the use of chemical cleaning products, which in turn will release toxic substances into the air. Opt for natural products such as vinegar, baking soda or black soap.

Aerate and ventilate

Aerating refreshes the indoor air from time to time. It is advisable to open the windows wide twice a day, morning and evening, for 15 minutes, and in particular:

  • before going to bed and after getting up
  • during and after your shower
  • in the presence of a large number of people
  • during renovation and DIY work (painting, fitting a new piece of furniture, etc.).

A ventilation system constantly renews indoor air. It is advisable to regularly maintain this type of installation:

  • have mechanical ventilation systems checked once a year
  • dust off grilles and vents regularly
  • never block ventilation grilles
  • make sure the outside air intake is not near a source of pollution, or too close to the exhaust air outlet.  

DID YOU KNOW? No scientific study has demonstrated the effectiveness of depolluting plants inside homes. An alleged effectiveness is only found when a large number are present.


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.

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