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The world is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ). But not everything people believe is true. And unfortunately, some wrong ideas are becoming popular. 

When it comes to the air we breathe and its impact on our health, separating fact from fiction is important. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top 8 most common indoor air quality myths. 

Myth #1: Air fresheners improve air quality 
Air fresheners do not improve air quality. What they do is help disguise odors by masking them with other fragrances. Unfortunately, many air fresheners contain harmful chemicals that, when released into the air, actually contribute to indoor air pollution.  

A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council revealed that air fresheners emit numerous toxic compounds, including formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).1 These pollutants are directly related to respiratory problems and other health issues. 

Myth #2: Mold is only a problem in humid climates 
The presence of mold significantly reduces indoor air quality. Mold growth is often associated with wet, humid climates. However, please be aware that mold can bloom in any indoor environment with high moisture levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), plumbing leaks and inadequate ventilation are common vehicles for mold growth.2  

To prevent mold growths and improve indoor air quality, it’s a good idea to address any moisture-related situations as soon as they’re discovered.  

Myth #3: Allergies are the main indicator of poor indoor air quality 
While allergies can be exacerbated by poor indoor air quality, they are not the single best indicator. Indoor air pollutants, such as VOCs and particulate matter (PM 2.5), can contribute to serious health issues, including respiratory problems, headaches, and fatigue. Exposure to indoor air pollutants also increases the risk of asthma development in children.

Myth #4: Air pollution is only a problem in urban areas 
Indoor air pollution can be a problem regardless of location. It doesn’t always take a densely populated urban area to experience poor air quality. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that indoor air pollution is a leading cause of respiratory diseases globally.5 Rural areas also require proper ventilation and air filtration systems to ensure good indoor air quality. 

Myth #5: Cleaning products labeled “green” are safe 
With the increasing popularity of “green” cleaning products, it is important to note that not all products labeled as such are truly safe for indoor air quality. Some “green” products still contain harmful chemicals, including VOCs. It is tragically necessary to carefully review the ingredients of cleaning products. It’s best to choose those certified by reputable organizations, such as the EPA’s Safer Choice program.6 

Myth #6: Air purifiers eliminate all indoor air pollutants 
While air purifiers can reduce certain indoor air pollutants, they do not eliminate all pollutants. Different types of air purifiers target specific materials, such as particles, gases, etc. To best reduce indoor air pollutants, it’s wise to utilize proper ventilation and quality air filtration whenever possible. 

Myth #7: Indoor air quality is not a significant health concern 
This one is, perhaps, the most dangerous myth of all. The reality is that indoor air quality has significant impacts on health. According to WHO, poor indoor air quality contributes to 4.3 million premature deaths worldwide each year.7 Of these IAQ-related passings, the leading cause is stroke at 34%, ischemic heart disease follows with 26%, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease takes 22%, pneumonia is 12% and lung cancer accounts for 6%.8 

If you’d like to learn more about indoor air quality, please see this frequently asked questions (FAQ) piece.  


  1. Clearing the Air: Hidden Hazards of Air Fresheners. 
  2. Mold and Your Health.  
  3. Indoor Air Pollution and Asthma in Children. 
  4. Household air pollution. 
  5. Safer Choice. 
  6. Air pollution: Indoor air pollution.,6%25%20of%20deaths%2C%20respectively. 
  7. 7 million deaths annually linked to air pollution.


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