What’s in the air we breathe?


Understanding the harmful components of indoor air…


Partnered with
Leo International
Filed under
Specialised Cleaning
September 29, 2020
Share this story
What’s in the air we breathe?

We’ve all learned that we breathe in Oxygen and breathe out Carbon-dioxide. But, is that all there is in the air we breathe? When we talk about indoor air, we are talking about a complex element within four walls that is filled with components that we may not even realize exist.

It has been found that 50% of all major office buildings have contaminated HVAC systems, and 40% of all major buildings can expect occupants to suffer from symptoms that come from a ‘sick’ building. Buildings with old and dirty duct systems can emit a combination of pollutants strong enough to give people headaches, teary eyes and itchy throats. In fact, the EPA estimated that indoor air pollution results in at least 40% less productivity and 30% more absenteeism resulting in the loss of finances.

So, let’s understand what causes these health issues by breaking down the hazardous components of air:

Viruses, microbials and pathogens

As well as ‘bioaerosols’ from bacteria, fungi and their spores.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) and other pollutants are released from heaters and other appliances.


Cigarette smoke contains trace amounts of about 4,000 chemicals. This includes 200 known poisons such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, and 43 carcinogens

Dust, pollen and dust mites

Dust is a common component of air, especially in the Middle East, and pollen can come in from environmental changes. Moreover, where there is dust, there are dust mites


A major component used in making carpets, furniture, etc.

Cleaning products and pesticides

Cleaning chemicals and pesticides do leave a gaseous residue that mixes in with the ambient air.


A humidity imbalance allows mould to grow rapidly indoors.


Bacteria like micrococci, staphylococci, streptococci, and corynebacteria can be identified in the air.

Airborne allergens and pathogens

If you're stuffed up, sneeze, or get itchy eyes all from the comfort of your home or office, you may most likely have an indoor allergen problem!

Occupation-related contaminants

Depending on what your facility is used for, the nature of contamination changes

These are just some of the components that exist in a general facility. The more components you add to the facility, the higher the indoor air contamination. Therefore, it is crucial to have a good indoor air maintenance system on board!

To know more about the adverse impact of poor indoor air quality, read our article: Poor Indoor Air Quality: Adverse Impact


Related Stories