Common Toxins identified

The long list of common pollutants and toxic particles is summarized in the table below.

Pollutants

Sources

Molds

Water damage, high humidity regions, and humid areas of homes, like bathrooms and basements; most common molds are Aspergillus, Stachybotrys, and Penicillium; Aspergillus is a primary food for dust mites.

Bioaerosols (Biocontaminants such as airborne bacteria, viruses, etc.)

Humans, pets, moist surfaces, humidifiers, ventilation systems, drip pans, cooling coils in air handling units (can cause Legionnaires' disease and "humidifier fever")

Combustion By-products (PAH, CO, CO2, NOx)

Unvented kerosene and gas heaters, gas appliances, fireplaces, chimneys and furnaces, tobacco smoke, automobile exhaust from attached garages

Tobacco Smoke (including second-hand smoke)

Cigarettes, cigars, pipes can release mixtures of over 4,000 compounds

Formaldehyde

Pressed wood products (hardwood, plywood, fiberboard, etc.), urea-formaldehyde foam insulation, mattresses, clothing, nail polish, permanent press textiles, glue and adhesives, stoves, fireplaces, automobile exhaust

Arsenic

Pressure-treated wood products used for decks and playground equipment are often treated with arsenic-containing pesticides

Other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Paints, solvents, wood preservatives, aerosol sprays, cleaners and disinfectants, copy machines/printers/faxes, carpets, moth repellents, air fresheners, dry cleaned clothes, hobby supplies

Phthalates (plasticizers)

Vinyl flooring, food packaging, shower curtains, wall coverings, adhesives, detergents, personal care products, toys, PVC pipe

Pesticides

Pest control poisons, garden and lawn chemicals

Asbestos

Deteriorating or damaged insulation, fireproofing, or acoustical materials

Heavy Metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, etc.)

Paints, cars, tobacco smoke, soil and dust; huge industrial pollutants

Radon (a radioactive gas that comes from uranium)