Biological Pollution

Biological pollutants are substances in our environment which come from living organisms and can affect our health. They includethings such as pollen from trees and plants, insects or insect parts, certain fungi, some bacteria and viruses, and even animal hair, animal skin scales, saliva, and urine. Not all of these substances are harmful to everyone who encounters them.



An over-sensitivity to certain things which may cause breathing difficulty, rashes, runny noses, or itchy eyes. An allergen is what causes the allergy.


A breathing problem where airways become very small, not allowing much air into the lungs. It is characterized by wheezing, coughing, and general difficulty in breathing.


A very large group of simple, single-celled organisms. Some bacteria cause disease, but others help plants grow; some turn milk into yogurt, and some help in the decay of dead plants and animals.

Dust Mites

These are microscopic bugs (related to spiders), that live in our carpets, mattresses, and upholstered furniture. They mainly eat dead skin cells and fungi.


Organisms which absorb their food through cell walls. Some are microscopic, like yeast that helps make bread rise. Others are large, such as the mushrooms we eat in salads. Molds that grow on bread, and mildew found in many bathrooms are also fungi.


Tiny grains released from plant flowers that “fertilize” other flowers. This results in the production of seeds.


A particle, chemical, or a gas that is harmful in our environment.


Tiny reproductive cells (almost like seeds) that fungi produce.



Diseases From Biological Pollution:
A common problem from biological pollutants is asthma. Many airborne biological pollutants enter our bodies when we breathe them in with the air we need to survive. These tiny particles, from fungi, dust mites, or cockroaches, may cause chemicals in our bodies to make

the muscles around the tubes that bring the air into our lungs to constrict. This makes the tubes small in diameter. If this happens, a person cannot breathe. The person must take a medicine to reverse this constriction and open up the airways again.Allergies to pollen or spores in the air can cause runny noses and stuffed-up heads.Other biological substances, such as poison ivy, can cause allergic skin rashes.

What You Can Do?
Make sure walls and ceilings are dry: Fungi, including molds, need moisture to grow. Using proper ventilation – especially in the bathroom – will keep surfaces dry. If mold begins to grow on walls, ceilings, or bathroom tiles, wipe it with a dilute bleach solution, if possible, to kill it (1 part bleach to 20 parts water).
Use air conditioning in the summer: When outdoor pollen and fungal spore levels are high, air conditioning will allow windows to be kept closed, thus blocking the entry of these airborne particles which may cause allergies.
Avoid having allergy-causing animals in your home: If you have an allergy to certain animals, such as cats, avoid keeping such animals as pets. Animal dander (dead skin cells) and other animal-shed particles cause many allergies. Short-haired or non shedding animals (such as hamsters), may make better pets.
Use “mite-proof” pillow and mattress covers: People who are allergic to dust mites can benefit from covering their bedding with special covers. Wash pillow cases, mattress covers, and sheets in hot (not warm) water to kill mites.
Remove carpets: Many fungal spores, dust mites, animal dander, and other allergens collect in carpeting. Removing the carpets may benefit those who suffer from these allergies.
It is almost impossible to clean all the biological pollutants from the environment. Nor should we want to, because some serve very important purposes. However, you can reduce the number of allergy and asthma causing organisms in your home. While none of these actions are guaranteed to eliminate the symptoms, they are often effective in reducing them.