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Top 10 Worst Places For Indoor Air Quality

Indoors is also where you will likely spend the majority of your life. The average American will spend over 80% of their life indoors. When most people think about air pollution, they envision factory smokestacks, smog over a city or exhaust from a traffic jam. But indoor air quality can actually be worse than outdoor air quality.

With that said, here are the Top 10 Worst Places For Indoor Air Quality:

#10 – MALLS


Most malls are older buildings with poor ventilation systems and HVAC systems that are badly maintained – meaning there’s a lot of stale air with high carbon dioxide levels.


Office Buildings

Dust, mold, humidity and poor ventilation are common in most office buildings. Office buildings can also have stale air and sick co-workers, not to mention any other manufacturing or high-polluting business that might share the building.



Many schools are in decades-old buildings with poor ventilations and HVAC systems. Airborne pollutants are also common in schools as shared ventilation systems spread pollutants and pathogens from classroom to classroom and student to student.


Apartment Buildings

Apartment buildings typically have few windows, which means poor ventilation in the building. Shared HVAC systems also transfer pollutants from apartment to apartment. In other words, neighbors are typically breathing the same air. Laundry rooms, shared hallways and trash areas also spread pollutants. Higher mold and mildew levels are also common in apartment buildings.


Restaurants and Bars

When a restaurant has inadequate ventilation, fumes from the kitchen can make their way into the dining area. Bars are also one of the worst public places for cigarette smoke. As tobacco smoke settles, chemicals can become trapped in the furniture and carpets, exposing you to pollutants from cigarettes even when no one is smoking.


Doctor Offices

What are waiting rooms full of? Sick people! Airborne pathogens are common in waiting rooms. Additionally, the air quality in doctor offices can be affected by gasses released by medical machinery and office equipment.


Indoor Pools

Swimmers at indoor pools are regularly breathing in chlorine and other gasses from water treatment chemicals. Plus, urine, sweat, moisturizers and personal care products from swimmers can react with pool water chemicals to create other foul gasses that you breathe in.



People that use the subway to commute to work each day are usually exposed to pollutants from subway train engines as well as pollutants carried by ventilation systems and other passengers.



Casinos are notorious for their high levels of smoking. Casinos are built with the aim of keeping people inside for as long as possible, meaning long exposure to unhealthy air. Casinos are typically large enclosed buildings with few windows with people sitting in close quarters, filled with cigarette smoke.


Bus and Train Stations

We grouped these two together because they are essentially the same setups. Many commuters take buses and trains, and most stations have a lobby where you wait before departing. The air quality inside these stations and waiting areas are often at harmful levels. You are exposed to diesel emissions which can contain nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, soot and several other harmful pollutants.

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