Indoor air pollution (IAP) is an important environmental health issue in developing countries and is a major contributor to mortality and morbidity from acute lower respiratory illness in children. In developed countries, IAP in homes is not nearly as severe as it can be in developing countries; however, evidence suggests that it does contribute significantly to the risk of adverse respiratory health in children. Children spend the majority of their time indoors, mostly at home. Homes are built so that air exchange between the indoor and outdoor environments is minimised and there is a large range of pollution emission sources inside. For many pollutants, indoor concentrations regularly exceed those outdoors, Although there has been considerable interest in the health effects of IAP, questions still remain regarding the role of IAP in the exacerbation and/or development of respiratory disease. Prospective, longitudinal studies are required to better clarify the contribution of IAP to the respiratory health of children. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.