The outdoor air pollution levels are now measured continuously. Their health effects are relatively well documented. It is the health impact of contaminants present in indoor air that now raises questions.

Today, we are living mainly in enclosed spaces:

• public places: transportation, government offices, schools, hospitals, sports arenas, movie halls, etc.);
• professional buildings: offices and shops;
• private spaces: individual or group housing.

These enclosed spaces contain some chemicaland biological pollutantsthat can affect human health.

There are many health problems due to this pollution with very diverse clinical manifestations: headaches, eye and respiratory tract irritations, etc. For the most part, these effects are not specifically related to the detected pollutants.

Indoor air is often more polluted than the air outside.

Three major sources contribute to the contamination of indoor air:
 pollution from the outside, some pollutants present outside in small quantities, such as fine particles, can accumulate in our homes if we do not get rid of them;
• pollution from occupants and their activities such as DIY, cleaning, cooking, use of combustion appliances and the presence of pets;
• pollution caused by some building materials and furniture.

In addition, the pollutant levels are influenced by humidity, temperature, ventilation and air exchange.

What are the risks?
What are the pollutants and their sources?

6.2. Sources de polluants intérieurs dans la maison_FR
1. Moulds
2. Formaldehyde
3. Dust mites
4. Flame retardants
5. CO
6. Radon
7. Solvents
8. Dioxins CO, VOC, PM, HAP
9. Lead pipes
10. NO2
11. Tobacco smoke
12. Biocides

Actions of federal authorities

Since 2007, the federal government is filling in for the European Union and has put in place a legislation that bans the placing of products on the market which affect the indoor environment. The work focuses essentially on building materials.