4 Common Irritants, Hazards & Allergens in the Air Inside Your Home

Indoor air quality has quickly become an important aspect of our health, in no small part due to the coronavirus pandemic. As studies about airborne hazards continue to find irritants and allergens that may leave us more susceptible to contract respiratory diseases, it’s becoming more and more important to understand how to protect oneself. 

Here we’ll go over some of the most common airborne irritants and allergens that can have immediate or lasting effects on your health.


It may come as no surprise that pollen is one of the most common airborne allergens, particularly during allergy season. While pollen mainly affects outdoor areas, since pollen is produced by plants, it can be hard to avoid, even indoors. If the weather is nice and you want to leave windows open for a nice breeze, chances are pollen can negatively affect those with allergies by causing:

  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • sneezing 
  • and more



Mold can cause a myriad of issues and is one of the more concerning air irritants that can occur within the home. Though there are many different types of mold, each with their own severity, black mold, or stachybotrys, is one of the most insidious types. If left unattended, black mold can cause flu-like symptoms including:

  • coughing
  • postnasal drip
  • sneezing
  • dry skin
  • congestion
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic arachnids that live in soil, plants, wood, and other materials, often thriving in damp or humid conditions. While they do not bite or spread disease, dust mite allergies are relatively common and chances are you’ll experience allergy symptoms year round if you do happen to be allergic. Here are the most common places in the home that dust mites occupy:

  • bedding
  • carpet/rugs
  • furniture
  • mattresses
  • curtains

Household Cleaners and Chemicals

A recent study from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder concluded that everyday items such as aerosols, paint, pesticides, etc. are far more toxic to indoor air quality than one might expect. The study estimated that aerosols have caused around 10 times more premature deaths than previously thought. 

Part of the reason indoor air quality is being scrutinized now is because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between lockdowns and quarantines, more people have spent more time indoors than they usually would. The average American spends around 87% of their time indoors, making indoor air quality even more important.

Aftermath is Here to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Science, part of Aftermath Environmental Quality Services, is the nationally recognized expert in providing training and consulting in indoor air quality, industrial hygiene, and environmental sciences. Together, we keep people safe from viruses, bacteria, mold, asbestos, radon, and a myriad of other airborne hazards. 

To start protecting yourself and those around you from harmful airborne pathogens, call us at 877-697-3671.