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, links to home testing kits, 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. mold mold mold mold mold mold mold mold mold.

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Hide details for Information on Pollutants & Their SourcesInformation on Pollutants & Their Sources
Information on Pollutants & Their Sources
Show details for AsbestosAsbestos
Show details for Asthma & AllergiesAsthma & Allergies
Show details for Biological contaminantsBiological contaminants
Show details for Household Cleaning Chemicals and SpraysHousehold Cleaning Chemicals and Sprays
Hide details for Carbon Monoxide (CO)Carbon Monoxide (CO)

CO is a colorless, odorless gas that interferes with the delivery of oxygen throughout the body. CO detectors are widely available.
Hide details for FormaldehydeFormaldehyde


Note on FEMA travel trailers and Emergency housing cottages:
http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehhe/trailerstudy/assessment.htm
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) test results showed that levels of toxic formaldehyde in the remaining FEMA trailers were on average five times as high as normal due to building materials and poor ventilation. Formaldehyde is a common ingredient in pressed-wood products, including particle board, and can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, wheezing and coughing, fatigue, skin rashes, headaches, nosebleeds, and severe allergic reactions.. Formaldehyde levels are generally much higher in the warmer months. Good ventilation can dilute and reduce levels quite a bit. The CDC is recommending that Katrina storm survivors be moved out. Most have been vacated. Families who live in travel trailers and mobile homes should do the following: spend as much time outdoors in fresh air as they can, especially if the family includes children, elderly people,or those with chronic diseases such as asthma; open windows as much as they can to let in fresh air; try to keep the temperature indoors at the lowest comfortable setting; not smoke, especially indoors; and see a doctor or another medical professional if they have health concerns. The Sierra Club in Mississippi is concerned that formaldehyde levels in the cottages could also be higher than normal if adequate ventilation and temperature control is not used.


Hide details for LeadLead

Please visit MDEQ’s webpage on lead paint. Paint containing Lead and Cadmium can become airborne if sanded. Fine particles can be distributed and settle throughout the house via air ducts.
http://www.deq.state.ms.us/MDEQ.nsf/page/Air_Lead-BasedPaint?OpenDocument

Safe paint products with Green Seal approval can be found at the following site: http://www.greenseal.org/FindGreenSealProductsAndServices.aspx

Test Kits for Lead
For more information on detecting lead in your home and various do-it-yourself test kits, review the following study from Consumer Reports:
http://www.consumerreports.org
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 MoldMold
Show details for Air DuctsAir Ducts
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
http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html

"Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon"
http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/hmbyguid.html

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. Visit the following site to view radon maps of any state: http://www.epa.gov/radon/zonemap/mississippi.htm

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.
Show details for Smoke (Tobacco Smoke and Second hand smoke)Smoke (Tobacco Smoke and Second hand smoke)
Show details for Air CleanersAir Cleaners
Show details for Vapor IntrusionVapor Intrusion
Show details for Fireplaces, Wood stoves, Wood heaters, Wood boilersFireplaces, Wood stoves, Wood heaters, Wood boilers

Hide details for General IAQ Resources & OrganizationsGeneral IAQ Resources & Organizations
Show details for EPA ResourcesEPA Resources

Show details for Publications on Multiple IAQ TopicsPublications on Multiple IAQ Topics
Hide details for OrganizationsOrganizations 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 IAQ Staff
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601-961-5799