Why Is Indoor Air Pollution Worse Than Outdoor| Causes & Preventions

why is indoor air pollution worse than outdoor

The question “Why Is Indoor Air Pollution Worse Than Outdoor” is very common these days. I heard discussions about that topic on different forums and decided to write a dedicated post on it. Here I tried to compile all factors and issues about air quality.

The statement “indoor air pollution is worse than outdoor” is right but not proper, 100%. Suppose your home is situated near a factory where smoke and acidic gases are discharged on a large scale. How can you say that indoor air quality is worse than outdoor? On the other side, if you live in an airtight home near the forest, you can say that your indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air, that’s right.

You may think that outdoor air pollution sources are very high compared to indoor air pollution sources, so why indoor air quality is ten times, 100 times, even 1000 times worse than outdoor? Where does indoor air pollution come from that makes the air contaminated?

Let’s think about indoor air pollution sources, here we see some kitchen activities, VOC’s, pets, and PM, etc., while all these things also exist outside on a large scale. Then why the outdoor air is better than indoor? In my opinion, the simple answer is NATURE! Nature heals itself gradually.

Also, the environment purifies itself efficiently. That’s why Amazon’s forests are called the lungs of nature. How is outdoor pollution different than indoor pollution? Here are some natural factors that help keep the outdoor environment better than the indoor environment.

Primary Factors – Why is Indoor Air Pollution Worse than Outdoor?

Below some fundamental factors are described for the question of why is indoor air pollution worse than outdoor:

indoor air pollution factors

Large Space

Many pollutants are found in outdoor or open areas, but they can dissolve rapidly due to their large space. While in the homes, we have limited space, where pollutants filled the space quickly and circulate in a specific area and become more harmful.

Forests/ Plants

Forests and plants are great sources to minimize outdoor air pollution. Plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and prepared oxygen for us. In indoor areas, we do have not a sufficient amount of plants that can absorb carbon dioxide. That’s why CO2 exposure is high in indoor areas.


What happened if air circulation is stopped? How can we breathe without air? Air transports a lot of outdoor pollutants far from us. Smoke from hydrocarbons, chronic chemical compounds, and poisonous gases from factories dispersed naturally. In a building where ventilation is not sufficient, pollutants can be accumulated and can cause radon concentration.


A single drop of rain brings thousand of PMs to the surface from the air. Dust pollution is very low in rainy areas because rain soil became more challenging, and their particles cannot be float in the air.

Dust particles and other PM that settled on the leaf of trees can be spread in the air when the wind is blowing. But due to rainwater smoke, gasses, PM, and other pollutants eliminate. While indoor areas, these microbes cannot be capture easily; that’s why they make indoor air quality worse than outdoor air pollution.


We buried a lot of dead bodies in the soil. If dead bodies cannot be buried in the soil of the earth’s surface, what happened? How much pollution spreads from these dead cells? But on the other side, in indoor areas, pet’s dead skin cells, hairs, dead bodies of insects add a large amount of pollution to indoor air.


Sunlight cannot directly help reduce pollution, but it has a vital role in growing plants and providing energy to the earth. Sunlight maintains the humidity level of the atmosphere that is very helpful to control pollutants naturally.

But in indoor areas, we control humidity levels artificially to minimize indoor air pollutants because a high level of humidity provides an ideal space for pollutant breeding.

How can Indoor Air Pollution be Prevented?

Before prevention, let see where does indoor air pollution come from? What are the essential sources of pollutants? Minimal breeding of indoor pollutants is the key to minimize exposure—some other suggestions to maintain your indoor air quality better.

  • Adopt a smoke-free policy in indoor areas.
  • Mechanically ventilate indoor areas.
  • Use doormats
  • Avoid carpets
  • Use proper electric stove with range hood.
  • Keep dry, avoid wet surfaces or water leakage.
  • Less exposure to EMF
  • Avoid ozone generator appliances

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Suggestions to Reduce Outdoor Air Pollution

Now a day nature says thanks to COVID-19 due to lockdown all over the world, air pollution reduces up to 35%. The ozone layer recovers rapidly; once again, nature taught us how to save our environment. Now it’s time to take action and introduce new regulations all over the world. Here are some suggestions for individuals to minimize outdoor air pollution.

  • Replace your vehicle from gasoline to electric
  • Dump garbage properly
  • Keep your community green with a plantation.
  • Don’t wastewater
  • Avoid lead-based products
  • Don’t burn woods, leave or trash of your lawn.
  • Less use of air conditioning or heating units
  • Use the  Air purifiers.


Hopefully, you get the answer to “Why Is Indoor Air Pollution Worse Than Outdoor.” Now, It’s our shared responsibility to save our environment; if we adopt the tips mentioned above, we can add a significant part to prevent air pollution.

Moreover, up to 65% of air pollution is produced in developing countries; approximately 3 billion people use wood as a primary energy source. Without educating them, we cannot overcome air pollution, so keep share this post to spread knowledge about air pollution.