Air quality

Poor air quality affects your health and the environment. Learn more about indoor and outdoor air quality.

The air we breathe contains a variety of chemicals, gases and particles, many of them are pollutants.

Outdoor air quality

Contaminants in outdoor air can come from natural and human sources.

Natural sources of outdoor air contamination:

Human sources of pollutants:

Quick facts

Indoor air quality

Contaminants can also build up within indoor environments, and this can have a negative effect on your health. These contaminants can come from many sources:

Other contaminants that can create a hazard to your health:

Who is most at risk from poor air quality?

Symptoms of being exposed to poor air quality

When air quality is poor, even people who are otherwise healthy can experience symptoms like coughing, irritated eyes, and difficulty breathing. Anyone with an existing respiratory or cardiovascular condition can experience more severe symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain or fluttering in the chest, and feeling light-headed.

Protecting your health

You can help reduce air pollution

This item was last modified on July 17, 2015