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The High Hidden Costs of Indoor Air Pollution

Dirty indoor air has substantial direct and indirect costs on health, productivity, and property values, with the costs of indoor air pollution easily reaching into the billions.

The costs of indoor air pollution are potentially staggering. While it’s difficult to put any exact figure on it, when you add up the annual costs of negative healthcare outcomes, legal damages, productivity losses, and other problems associated with poor indoor air quality, the total costs become shockingly high.

In this infographic we highlight some of the more significant financial burdens associated with poor indoor air quality.

(Click infographic to enlarge.)

The High Hidden Costs of Indoor Air

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Here’s a summary of key points in this infographic:

Total Spending on Respiratory Conditions

In the United States, spending on respiratory conditions increased from $17.1 billion in 1996 to $170.88 billion in 2016.

Asthma Costs

Americans spend an average of $88 billion on asthma treatments annually. Asthma also indirectly costs employers $2.8 billion each year.

Health Insurance Premiums

Since 2012, health insurance premiums have gone up 43%, with a 20% increase from 2017 alone, amounting to total expenditures of $4.5 trillion in 2022.

Costs Due to Poor Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality costs the nation over $100 billion due to loss of productivity and medical care.

Global Cost of PM 2.5

The estimated global cost of health damages (death and disease) from particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) exceeds $8.1 trillion.

Structural Damage Costs

Home value could decrease by $3,700 per $125,000 annually due to structural damage from humidity, amounting to a total of $1.4 trillion.

Mold Remediation Costs

45 million U.S. homes have dangerous levels of mold, which would cost $225 billion to remediate.

CO2 Impact on Education

A 1000 parts per million (ppm) increase in outdoor CO2 concentrations is linked to a 10-20% increase in student absences, resulting in a financial impact of $1.1 to $2.2 billion in lost funding.


An office building occupants guide to indoor air quality. (n.d.). Environmental Protection Agency.

Asthma Facts. (n.d.). Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America.

Cost of asthma on society. (n.d.). Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America.

Duan, K. I., Birger, M., Au D. H., Space, L. J., Feemster, L. C., Dieleman, J. L. (2022). Health care spending on respiratory diseases in the United States, 1996-2016. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 207(2), 126-127.

Gerhardt, N., Tynan, C. (2023, August 23). How much does mold remediation and removal cost?. Forbes Home.

National Research Council. (2007). Green schools: attributes for health and learning [eBook edition]. The National Academies Press.

Peysakhovich, R. (2022, August 14). 47 mold statistics: Black mold deaths per year. Onedesk.

The economic impact that asthma has on the economy and families. (n.d.). Illinois Department of Central Management Services.

2022 employer health benefits survey. (2022, October 27). KFF.

Vinyes, J. (n.d.). The cost of having humidity in the house. Humitat-Stop.

The Global Health Cost of PM2.5  – 

Worker illness and injury costs U.S. employers $255.8 billion annually. (2015, January 28). CDC Foundation.

Meghan Serceki

Meghan Serceki is Community Outreach Specialist at YourIAQ. A recent graduate from the University of California San Diego with two B.A.s in Writing and Spanish Literature, Meghan is experienced in content development, customer relations, and analytical writing.