New Indoor Air Quality Guidelines Set By the World Health Organization

Alex Collins
3 min readOct 12, 2021

The WHO (World Health Organization) has recently set new guidelines on air quality (AQGs) that provide clear evidence of the damage air pollution inflicts on our health, at even lower levels than previously understood. The new guidelines are aimed at prevention & protection, by reducing the levels of key indoor & outdoor air pollutants.

The last update or guideline change took place in 2005, and since then, there has been new research & evidence presented that shows an uptick in air quality related health issues. For these reasons, the WHO has adjusted almost all levels of AQGs in a downwards trend. They have stated that exceeding these new guidelines may post a significant hazard to human health. WHO’s new guidelines recommend air quality levels for 6 pollutants, where evidence has advanced the most on health effects from exposure.

The WHO has stated that, “In adults, ischaemic heart disease and stroke are the most common causes of premature death attributable to outdoor air pollution, and evidence is also emerging of other effects such as diabetes and neurodegenerative conditions. This puts the burden of disease attributable to air pollution on a par with other major global health risks such as unhealthy diet and tobacco smoking.”

Revisions are made in the guidance to the maximum recommended exposure levels of several different pollutants, based on the latest scientific evidence available. These apply to particulate matter (PM), ozone (O₃), nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) sulfur dioxide (SO₂) and carbon monoxide (CO).

Although the new Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) are not legally binding, they are expected to inform national environmental policy and laws that will in turn increase pressure for more effective management of indoor air quality and ventilation systems.

The Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) lists indoor air as one of the top 5 pollutants and environmental dangers in the country. According to the EPA, indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside. Hundreds, even thousands of chemicals and microbes are released into your indoor air system every single day.

Some of the most common indoor air pollutants include pollen, pet dander, dust mites, bacteria, virus, mold, and fungi. When these pollutants contaminate the air, they can aggravate your allergies or asthma, cause dry throats and itchy skin, and leave you vulnerable to colds and viruses.

To combat these pollutants, consider consulting with a professional home service provider that offers solutions for Indoor Air quality.

Paschal offers a variety of indoor air quality solutions, such as comprehensive duct cleaning services, and revolutionary in-duct sealing technology. Our team of indoor air quality experts at Paschal are committed to helping you live a life of clean air.

There are four basic categories of indoor air quality systems — whole house filtration systems, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, energy recovery ventilators (ERV), and ultraviolet air cleaners. Whole house filtration systems are installed within your ductwork of your system, so that air is filtered before it enters your home.

The indoor air quality team at Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric is ready to help you improve your health through cleaner indoor air. While a well constructed, airtight home is energy efficient, it can also create an environment of unhealthy indoor air. Paschal offers several solutions to improve the air quality of your Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith or Southwest Missouri area home or business. Our licensed technicians have undergone rigorous training, and continue to stay current regarding technological advances that help to improve your indoor air quality.