Top 5 Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

Our homes are the most personal spaces on earth. Home is where we go when we need to get away from the world outside. We may not know if there are dangerous substances lurking in a place where we should feel completely safe. In Toronto, many of the houses are closing in on a hundred years old. There’s an undeniable charm to these older houses, but there’s also a higher risk of indoor air pollution than in homes with newer construction.

With many possible sources of indoor air pollution, it’s hard to know where to start looking. We have prepared a list of the five most likely culprits.

Combustion Gases

Fans of chemistry know that where there’s fire, there’s combustion gases. That means your fireplace, gas stove, furnace and even spaces heaters are sources of combustion gases. It’s not practical to consider life in Canada without indoor heating sources, so the next best thing is ensuring adequate ventilation to keep these gases from lingering indoors.

Dust and Dander

Ask anyone who cleans obsessively, and they will tell you that there is no end to dust in the home. It’s even worse when pets are part of the family. You will never completely get away from dust and dander, all you can hope to do is keep them under control. Dusting and vacuuming along with frequent changing of the furnace filters are the best steps you can take to keep these sources of indoor air pollution under control.


Upon discovering an insect or rodent infestation in the home, the natural first reaction is to get rid of it as quickly and effectively as possible. Nobody wants to share their home with vermin! However, don’t let shock and horror lead to a bad decision that can have a long term effect on your health. By all means, engage the services of a pest control company to take care of the problem. Just be sure to discuss your options and choose the safest removal method available for your specific pest situation.


The thought of finding asbestos in their house is something that keeps may Toronto homeowners awake at night. That’s with good reason, because this rock-based insulating material was widely used in construction materials throughout Southern Ontario. It’s also a known carcinogen. Undisturbed asbestos fibers may not be something to worry about, but if you’re planning any renovations in a house build before 1990, be sure to arrange asbestos testing first.


Mould, mold, fungus – it’s known by many names, but they all mean a potentially dangerous substance that thrives in moist conditions like kitchens, basements and bathrooms. If you smell something musty in your house, there’s a good chance mould is to blame. To find out if the mould in your house is dangerous or just ugly, be sure to work with a professional mould removal company.

Don’t let the possibility of indoor air pollution scare you off the dream of owning a charming older home. An environmental remediation firm can help restore just about any home to its former glory with testing and abatement services.

Did you know?

Between 1920 and 1980, over 240,000 homes across Canada were insulated with materials that contained asbestos.
Find out if your home was one of them
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