Author: Leticia P. Saiz, PhD (Biomedical Researcher, Kveloce I+D+i)

It is widely known that inadequate indoor air quality due to the presence of common pollutants can lead to significant effects on human health,which can be divided into:

  • Immediate effects, which may appear after a single exposure or several repeated exposures to a contaminant and which may vary considerably from one person to another, depending on age or the existence of previous illnesses.  These effects may include headache, dizziness, fatigue, or irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. In addition, they can be aggravated and worsen, leading to more severe symptoms, such as asthma.
  • Late effects, which may appear even several years after exposure has occurred and/or only after long or repeated periods of exposure.  These effects are, for example, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as cognitive effects or cancer.



Alongside effects on cardiovascular and respiratory health, there is emerging evidence that exposure to air pollutants (both indoors and outdoors) may lead to neurocognitive disorders and affect mental health. Although there is less research on the effects of indoor air quality and exposure to air pollutants on mental health, some studies suggest an association between depression and factors such as dampness, mold, poverty, and cockroach infestations in homes. For example, poor socioeconomic status, overcrowding, unstable housing, and health risk behaviors are linked to both poor living conditions with inadequate air quality and poor mental health. However, in-depth research is still needed to understand the association between poor indoor air quality and the impact on mental health. For this reason, in the K-HEALTHinAIR project we included questionnaires to measure mental health and well-being as well as socio-economic data. For this purpose, validated instruments are used which have been adapted to each of the scenarios within the pilot.