About Indoor Chemistry


Humans spend about 90% of their time indoors, yet the chemistry that occurs in indoor environments has been traditionally understudied. Although the air in our offices, homes, and recreational spaces is exchanged with the outdoor air, there is a world of chemistry unique to the indoors yet to be discovered. Because of the small and enclosed nature of indoor spaces, surfaces, occupants, and everyday activities such as cooking and cleaning become important drivers of chemical processes indoors. From a chemistry perspective, we have only limited knowledge about what is there, where it comes from, and how it evolves. These are some of the science questions that the Chemistry of Indoor Environments (CIE) field strives to address:

What are the sources that influence indoor air quality?

How do their emissions transform within indoor spaces?

How do building occupants affect the chemistry of the indoor environment?

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has developed a multi-million dollar program to grow a new field of scientific inquiry focused on understanding the fundamental chemistry taking place in indoor environments and how that chemistry is shaped by building attributes and human occupancy. Using state-of-the art tools and techniques developed for atmospheric chemistry, the program is striving to identify chemical sources, characterize the chemical and physical transformations taking place indoors, and determine how indoor environments and their human and microbial occupants influence the chemistry and how the chemistry influences the indoor environments. Visit the Sloan Foundation CIE Program Website to learn more.

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About our website


The IndoorChem website was created to support all activities performed by the Chemistry of Indoor Environment network of scientists. In addition to acting as the main portal for the CIE project, this website aims to cultivate a community of researchers, scientists, business professionals, students, and all others interested in the chemistry of the built environment.


About our logo

IndoorChem Logo


The IndoorChem logo depicts an open box, which represents the relationship between indoors and outdoors, as well as a cyclic chemical structure that is reminiscent of pinene, a monoterpene compound that is emitted by pine trees and also found in many consumer products.