Even though pollution is mostly associated with the outdoor environment, it is important to understand that rooms and entire buildings may also be polluted. Buildings are closed spaces, with little direct light and natural ventilation that are important for preventing pollutants from congesting. Besides, the most common reasons for pollution are connected with human activity or insufficient cleaning. Indoor pollution can be dangerous for people’s overall well-being, and it is necessary to be aware of its possible sources.
One of the most widespread indoor pollutants is dust accumulating on the surfaces of furniture, floor, electronic facilities, and in inaccessible places. It may consist of fungal spores, dead skin cells of humans and pets, and other pollutants (Hashmi & Varma, 2019). Another source is connected with indoor air contamination caused by a poor ventilator system of the building or a room. Different aerosols and volatile organic compounds may remain in the air if the indoor space is not ventilated properly. Chemical particles can also be a source of indoor pollution since closed spaces lack direct sunlight and moisture that help these toxic elements degrade (Hashmi & Varma, 2019). It is important to understand that indoor pollution can be caused by the building’s proximity to chemical industries, factories, and other polluting premises.
The degree of indoor pollution may also depend on other variables, such as the type of the house, building materials, electronic appliances, age of the furniture, number of people, and other aspects. For example, Hashmi and Varma (2019) explored the presence of organophosphates, which are chemicals used in domestic and industrial settings, and concluded that their high concentration is associated with electronics, textile materials, and furniture. Inhaling or intaking dust and chemicals may lead to health deterioration, especially in toddlers and older people (Hashmi & Varma, 2019). Therefore, it is vital to clean and airy rooms and buildings in a timely manner.
Outdoor pollution may be caused by a greater variety of contaminants. In general, outdoor pollution can be divided into air, water, and soil contamination, though other factors, such as radiation and chemical pollution, should also be taken into account. According to Brusseau et al. (2019), most of the pollutants are chemicals, either human-made or natural, which can be in liquid, solid, or gaseous states. At the same time, natural processes, such as forest fires, may negatively influence the environment.
The most widespread sources of air pollution are connected with human activity and the development of technologies. Brusseau et al. (2019) mention that fossil fuel burning increases the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide. It explains why air is more polluted in urban areas with much traffic congestion, where different industries and factories are sources of toxic emissions. Water pollution is associated with the same causes since industries often discharge their chemical waste into oceans, rivers, and other water reservoirs. As for soil, contamination is caused by metals, pathogens, and chemicals (Brusseau et al., 2019). For example, since genetically modified substances became more common in agriculture, large areas of contaminated soil affect flora and fauna. Physical contaminants, such as dust, noise, and heat, are associated with outdoor pollution less often, though they also influence the environment and human well-being.
In the twenty-first century, people started to think about preserving the planet and eliminating environment-related health risks. Poor industrial waste processing, overuse of natural resources, and the presence of pollutants in the air, soil, and water, may result in diseases and even cause the death of wildlife and humans (Brusseau et al., 2019). While indoor pollution mostly affects individuals, outdoor pollution threatens entire habitats and may change the overall image of the planet. Therefore, it is necessary to minimize the negative results of human activity and modify environment-related policies to preserve nature and ensure humans’ well-being.
Hashmi, M.Z., & Varma, A. (Eds.) (2019). Electronic waste pollution: Environmental occurrence and treatment technologies. Springer Nature.
Brusseau, M.L., Pepper, I.L., & Gerba, C. (2019). Environmental and pollution science (3rd ed.). Academic Press.