Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Materials used in building construction and conditions resulting from property damage, or even poor maintenance and upkeep, can result in indoor air pollution that could jeopardize a person's health. Many of the sources of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems (i.e. formaldehyde, mold, radon, etc.) can be easily prevented and corrected by simple measures. Therefore, to help homeowners and business owners recognize and correct problems they may be experiencing, the following sources have been pulled together for easy access to useful information and answers to solve indoor air pollution. The information consists of guidance on most IAQ issues and associations of professional consultants should these services be desired or needed. Authorization and resources do not allow the MDEQ to visit homes and businesses to test for indoor pollution, but the agency is striving to be of assistance through the information it is making available here.

“How to Request Your Landlord to Make Repairs Under the Mississippi Residential Landlord Act”: pdf

For additional guidance from Mississippi Legal Services on Housing Issues, click HERE.

----------------- ( Click on a Section Heading below ) -----------------
Hide details for About Mold and other Indoor PollutantsAbout Mold and other Indoor Pollutants

    Show details for Air DuctsAir Ducts

    Hide details for Air CleanersAir Cleaners
    For EPA's opionion about Ozone Generators, click HERE

    Show details for AsbestosAsbestos

    Hide details for Asthma & AllergiesAsthma & Allergies

    Informaton on Asthma and Allergies is available from the following organization (just click on the name)

    Show details for Biological contaminantsBiological contaminants

    Show details for Carbon Monoxide (CO)Carbon Monoxide (CO)

    Show details for Fireplaces, Wood stoves, Wood heaters, Wood boilersFireplaces, Wood stoves, Wood heaters, Wood boilers

    Show details for FormaldehydeFormaldehyde

    Hide details for Household Cleaning Chemicals and SpraysHousehold Cleaning Chemicals and Sprays

    Safe household cleaners
    • EPA Green Seal recommended products, click HERE.
    • Melaleuca safe cleaning products -- 1-800-282-3000 , click HERE.
    • Green Works™ natural cleaners, click HERE.
    • Healthy Child product recommendations, click HERE.
    • Rochester Midland Corp. -- products for industry and school use, 1-800-836-1633, click HERE.

    Hide details for InsulationInsulation

    Symptoms from Fiberglass will typically go away after being removed or encapsulated. Fiberglass is not regulated and is widely used, but should not be breathed. There are some alternatives to fiberglass insulation (such as polyester and sheet foam). One technical paper concluded that wet spray-applied cellulose insulation (typically 30-40% water), when used in the walls of indoor environments, can become very moldy and result in unacceptable risk to occupants. It is recommended that fiberglass insulation be kept neatly contained (not hanging out) and use proper personal protective equipment to avoid exposure during installation or maintenance activities. Replace ceiling panels and repair disconnected ventilation ducts if needed.

    Show details for LeadLead

    Hide details for MoldMold
    Hayfever-like symptoms such as stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation may be the result of a high concentration of mold spores. In worse cases Mycotoxins from molds has been linked to symptoms like headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.

    Mold needs water and a food source (building materials) to grow. If one removes the water and moisture and keeps it dry, the mold cannot grow.
    • MS Department of Health webpage on Mold: html
    • Center for Disease Control site webpage on Mold: html
    • Mold and Dampness: Guidance from CDPH, html
    • "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings" - An EPA booklet: html
    • Mold Toxins (Mycotoxins) and Black Mold - Guidance from the CDC: html
    • To see EPA's information on this topic, click HERE.
    • An online EPA introductory course on Mold, click HERE.
    • Pictures of MOLD (find and Select "View the Mold Slide Show" down on the right side of screen). The Images available at this site give examples of trouble spots & cleanup apparatus.

    • An EPA booklet: "Flood Cleanup: Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems," Click HERE.
    • An EPA booklet: "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and your Home," Click HERE.
    • Book: "Clean Up Procedures for Mold In Houses", can be found at: EEBA Bookstore

    Note on Mobile homes.
    Water may leak from the metal siding or roof (those that do not have shingles). Any exposed nail or screw in metal siding should be sealed so water does not seep into the wall cavities. Some walls have no barrier between the outer metal siding and inner dry wall sheeting to resist moisture. If a leak is suspected, it may be worthwhile to check the inner wall cavity for mold and correct any problems as soon as possible.

    Show details for PesticidesPesticides

    Hide details for RadonRadon

    U.S. Surgeon General Health Advisory

    "Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country.  It's important to know that this threat is completely preventable.  Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques."  January 2005

    A Citizen's Guide to Radon: The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon
    To see this EPA booklet online, click HERE

    "Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon"
    To see this EPA booklet online, click HERE

    One may also call the Radon hotline number at the National Safety Council
    (800) SOS-RADON or (800) 55-RADON

    Compared to other states, most of Mississippi has a low predictive indoor radon screening. Radon levels in Alcorn, Union, Pontotoc, Lee, Chickasaw, Clay, Lowndes, and Noxubee have a medium predictive level.
    To view radon maps of any state click HERE

    Discounted radon test kits are available from the National Safety Council - 1-800-SOS-RADON ;
    Read the section in "A Citizen's Guide to Radon" listed above for a discussion on how to get reliable radon test results.

    Schools: The Indoor Radon Program in Mississippi provides free screening for schools in participating areas. Call 1-800-626-7739 or (601) 987-6893.

    Hide details for Smoke (Tobacco Smoke and Second hand smoke)Smoke (Tobacco Smoke and Second hand smoke)
    Aside from adding a decade to appearance, graying and wrinkling skin, becoming a gruff baritone, morning coughing, staining, stinching, and other annoyances, smoking can have some devastating health affects on everyone in the house especially if combined with other types of air pollution. Refer to the following sites for more information.

    Show details for Vapor IntrusionVapor Intrusion

    Hide details for Resources for ResearchResources for Research
    Show details for EPA ResourcesEPA Resources

    Show details for Publications on Multiple IAQ TopicsPublications on Multiple IAQ Topics
    Hide details for Organizations that Address Indoor Air IssuesOrganizations that Address Indoor Air Issues Show details for BooksBooks

    Show details for Consultants and LaboratoriesConsultants and Laboratories

    Show details for Related IAQ TopicsRelated IAQ Topics

    For More Information Contact Bryan Williams 601.961.5799
    Or Air Toxics Branch