Risks of Interior Decoration Pollution: What You Need to Know

There are many sources of indoor air pollution, a considerable part of which are caused by improper materials used in the decoration process, including formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Source: lasepa.gov.ng

What Are Main Indoor Air Pollution Sources?

  • Benzene

The reason for placing "benzene" first is not only because of the increasing access to it by us, but also because of its considerable harm to women.

"Benzene" is a colorless liquid with special aromatic smell. It is volatile and flammable and has been identified as a strong carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

Benzene exists in coatings, fillers and various organic solvents, and volatilizes indoors after decoration. It has a high content in additives and thinners of various paints and coatings, adhesives, waterproof materials and some low-grade coatings.

Main hazards: It may cause discomfort of skin mucosa, skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract, skin desquamation or allergic eczema, and may cause aplastic anemia.

Exposure of women to benzene mixtures during pregnancy can increase the incidence rate of pregnancy induced hypertension syndrome, pregnancy induced vomiting and pregnancy induced anemia, and even cause spontaneous abortion.

  •  Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde formaldehyde is a colorless, soluble and pungent gas.

Plywood, blockboard, medium density fiberboard and particleboard, synthetic adhesives such as melamine formaldehyde, amino formaldehyde resin and phenolic resin, and wall cloth (paper), chemical fiber carpet, foam plastic, paint and coating with urea formaldehyde foam resin as thermal insulation material often contain formaldehyde.

Main hazards: It can cause acute mental depression, and long-term exposure can cause cancer of nasal cavity, oral cavity, throat, skin and digestive tract.

  • Radon

Because radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas, it is easy to be ignored.

Radon is common in soil, such as granite, brick sand, cement and gypsum, especially in natural stone materials containing radioactive elements.

Among them, the radon content and radioactivity in granite is high. It is also found in natural gas used for heating and kitchen equipment.

Main hazards: It can damage the blood system, nervous system and respiratory system.

Its incubation period is more than 15 years, which is considered to be the second major factor causing lung cancer besides smoking.

  • Ammonia

Ammonia is a gas with strong pungent odor.

The ammonia in concrete additives will be slowly released from the wall, resulting in an increase in indoor ammonia concentration. 

Ammonia is also found in additives and brighteners in interior decoration materials. The release period of ammonia is short, and it will not accumulate in the air for a long time, so its harm is relatively small.

Main hazards: It can damage skin tissue, leading to skin pigmentation, finger ulcers, etc.

Inhalation of a large amount of ammonia in the short term will cause tears, sore throat, hoarseness, cough, bloody sputum, chest tightness, dyspnea, dizziness, headache, nausea, fatigue, etc. in severe cases, pulmonary edema and adult respiratory distress syndrome may occur. 

When the ammonia concentration is too high, it may even cause cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest through the reverse action of trigeminal nerve endings.

What Are the Hazards of Interior Decoration Pollution?

The release period of decoration pollutants is as long as 3 to 15 years, and their hazards are as follows:

  • Cause human immune function abnormality, liver injury and nerve center damage.
  • Damage to eyes, nose, throat, upper respiratory tract and skin.
  • Cause chronic health injury and reduce people's life span.
  • Serious cases may cause cancer, fetal malformation, female infertility, etc.
  • It has a great impact on the normal growth and development of children, and can lead to leukemia, memory decline, growth retardation, etc.
  • The damage to women's face and skin is even more obvious. Due to the strong irritating effect of formaldehyde on the skin mucosa, the skin will wrinkle and sweat secretion will decrease after contact. The decrease of sweat secretion will hinder the pore viscera and human metabolism.


  • Select high-quality interior decoration materials.
  • Keep indoor air circulation.
  • Use air purifier with different functions.
  • Develop non-toxic flowers and plants with air purification functions. 

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