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. 

What are the symptoms that can be taken as a sign of indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution can trigger many symptoms:

  • tiredness
  • headaches
  • eye irritation
  • skin irritation
  • stuffed or runny nose
  • nausea
  • dizziness, lightheadedness
  • etc.

Remember! We do not all react in the same way. The effects of indoor air pollution vary depending on the type of pollutant, the amount of pollutant in the air, the duration of exposure and the sensitivity of the exposed person (allergic or respiratory sensitivity, children, elderly or immunocompromised persons). Moreover, pollutants can act synergistically.

What are the diseases related to indoor air pollution?

The quality of the air we breathe can have health effects ranging from simple discomfort to respiratory diseases and even fatal intoxication, and include: 

  • respiratory allergies (rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis and allergic conjunctivitis)
  • allergic asthma
  • dermatitis
  • extrinsic allergic alveolitis (allergic disease affecting the alveoli of the lungs)
  • Legionnaires’ disease
  • various forms of poisoning (carbon monoxide, etc.).
  • etc.

Certain substances found in indoor air have been recognized as carcinogenic and/or as endocrine disruptors. 

DID YOU KNOW? Since the 1970s, the emergence of symptoms has been observed in some people working in offices equipped with air treatment facilities: “humidifier fever” and “unhealthy building syndrome”.


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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