SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Outdoor air quality is heavily studied and monitored, but what about the air we breathe indoors?

Scientists admit there is still a lot to learn in this area. One ongoing University of Utah study finds that, at times, the air in our homes is worse than stepping outdoors.

Every year, the smog settles in and is trapped under the inversion. And every year, the warnings go out, urging everyone to stay inside. It happened 170 times in 2018, in Salt Lake County alone, where voluntary or mandatory action days were issued. Although, most of those days, the air quality did not surpass the national air quality standard, they were still days of concern and days when the air was dangerous to breath.

Recent research at the University of Utah is starting to reveal that the air indoors can be just as polluted as the air outdoors.

“There’s a wide range of class of chemicals that have a wide range of health effects that can be severe to relatively inconsequential,” Utah Department of Health Epidemiologist Nathan LaCross explained.

Common pollutants can be cooking residue, wood burning indoor stoves, varnishes, paints, mold spores and even candles. VOC’s, or volatile organic compounds, also contaminate the air. They’re the chemicals that send fumes into the air, such as certain household products, cleaning solutions, paint thinners, or some glue.

Read the full story at ABC4.