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IAQ Tribal Partners Program

Learn About IAQ

What is IAQ?

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term used to describe the level of air pollution in homes and other indoor spaces. Indoor air pollutants are chemical, physical, or biological pollutants, such as secondhand smoke, chemicals in carpeting and treated wood, paint gases, mold and dust mites, among others. When these pollutants are present in high concentrations, they can put our health at risk by causing or exacerbating health problems.

Indoor air pollutants may be present at levels two to five times higher — and occasionally more than 100 times higher — than outdoor levels of pollutants. The average person spends nearly 90 percent of his or her time indoors.

IAQ House
Get a quick glimpse of some of the most important ways to protect the air in your home, tour the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) House. Room-by-room, you'll learn about and how to address key pollutants. Read "Care for Your Air"

Ensuring healthy IAQ by minimizing indoor air pollutants is important. Poor IAQ can have serious repercussions on an individual’s health. Children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to pollutant exposure. Health effects include respiratory problems (including asthma), chronic fatigue, headaches and cancer. In rare cases of chronic toxic pollutant exposure, neurological, reproductive (e.g., reduced fertility) and developmental problems can result.

Fortunately, IAQ can be managed. Learn more about how to manage the sources of indoor air pollutants and monitor IAQ.

Spotlight: Innovative IAQ Cuurriculum

To help increase children’s knowledge of environmental issues, Oregon State University developed the Hydroville Curriculum Project within the Environmental Health Sciences Center. The Hydroville Curriculum Project aims to improve high school students’ academic performance and skills, including stimulating interest in problem solving, decision making, teamwork and social responsibility, while providing them with real-world environmental health scenarios to address and to provide possible solutions. The project's innovative IAQ curriculum is research-based, interdisciplinary, open-ended, based on inquiry, and ideally should be taught collaboratively by a team of teachers. Two teachers using the IAQ Curriculum have received national recognition by the EPA for their outstanding teaching and mentoring achievements.


EPA's Care for Your Air brochure provides quick and simple overview of some key indoor air pollutants including radon, secondhand smoke, asthma triggers, volatile organic compounds, molds and combustion pollutants. The brochure unfolds into a poster that features action steps to improving indoor air. www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/careforyourair.html Find out more about Indoor Air Quality at www.epa.gov/iaq

The American Lung Association’s (ALA) Health House Program provides simple tips for improving IAQ. www.healthhouse.org exiting EPA

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Learn About IAQ

We want your input

Have you planned a successful and sustainable community program? If so, we would like to know. Please send us an e-mail at iaqtribal@epa.gov describing the program, and that program could be highlighted here. We will follow up with the program directly to gather more information and permission to use their story.

Asthma Triggers Carbon Monoxide Community Programs Directory of Tribal Champions Innovative Tribal Programs Learn about IAQ Working with the Media Moisture/Mold Other Pollutants Radon Programs in Schools Secondhand Smoke Wood Smoke Indoor Air Quality

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