When you think of air pollution, it’s easy to picture smokestacks and car exhaust. But air pollution can be present indoors, too. In fact, indoor air pollution and poor indoor air quality are responsible for almost 1.6 million deaths each year.

What do you need to know about indoor air quality? Check out these fast facts below.

indoor air quality

Considering that we spend almost 90% of our time indoors, it’s important to remember that indoor air quality is something that directly affects our health. At home, we can do things like vacuum daily or weekly, dust, change out air filters, and invest in dehumidifiers. But what about offices and other public spaces?

According to WHO experts, almost 30% of office buildings have poor indoor air quality. Combine that with the fact that office workers in the U.S. only step outside for about 15 minutes a day and you’ve got a recipe for respiratory issues. Concerned about air quality in your workplace? Ask about cleaning procedures and how often the space is vacuumed, dusted, and aired out.

But offices aren’t the only more public spaces where air quality can become a problem. Schools, where children spend the majority of their time, have reported various issues with air quality. Almost 25% of public schools have reported poor ventilation and another 20% have explicitly reported issues with indoor air quality. Keeping windows open, providing your child’s teacher with the means to keep the classroom dust and allergen-free, and checking in with your child’s school about cleaning procedures can help make a difference in air quality procedures.

The quality of the air we breathe has a direct effect on our health. Are you doing all you can to make sure the air you breathe is helping you and not hurting you?