PerspectiveATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY

An indoor chemical cocktail

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Science  09 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6376, pp. 632-633
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar6837

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Summary

In the past 50 years, many of the contaminants and chemical transformations that occur in outdoor waters, soils, and air have been elucidated. However, the chemistry of the indoor environment in which we live most of the time—up to 90% in some societies—is not nearly as well studied. Recent work has highlighted the wealth of chemical transformations that occur indoors. This chemistry is associated with 3 of the top 10 risk factors for negative health outcomes globally: household air pollution from solid fuels, tobacco smoking, and ambient particulate matter pollution (1). Assessments of human exposure to indoor pollutants must take these reactive processes into consideration.