A Guide to Indoor Air Quality
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Federal Information Sources
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Energy
- Public Health Service
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Bonneville Power Administration
- General Services Administration
- Tennessee Valley Authority
State and Local Organizations
EPA Regional Offices
Glossary of Terms
How Do I Order a Copy of This Document?
Federal agencies with indoor air quality information may be contacted as follows:
INDOOR AIR QUALITY - Information Clearinghouse (IAQ INFO)
P.O. Box 37133
Washington, DC 20013-7133
(800) 438-4318; (703) 356-4020
(fax) 703-356-5386 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Operates Monday to Friday from 9a.m. to 5p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Distributes EPA publications, answers questions on the phone, and makes referrals to other nonprofit and governmental organizations.
NATIONAL RADON HOTLINES
Information recording operates 24 hours a day.
NATIONAL LEAD INFORMATION CENTER
Operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers may order an information package. To speak to an information specialist, call (800) 424-5323. Operates Monday to Friday from 8:30a.m. to 5p.m. EST.
NATIONAL PESTICIDES TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK
National toll-free number: (800) 858-PEST
[In Oregon - (800) 858-7378]
Operates Monday to Friday from 6:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. Pacific Time. Provides information about pesticides to the general public and the medical, veterinary, and professional communities. Medical and government personnel may call 800-858-7377.
National toll-free number: (800) 424-9346
In Washington, DC area: (703) 412-9810
Operates Monday to Friday from 8:30a.m. to 7:30p.m. EST. Provides information on regulations under both the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (including solid and hazardous waste issues) and the Superfund law.
SAFE DRINKING WATER HOTLINE
Operates Monday to Friday from 8:30a.m. to 5p.m. EST. Provides information on regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act, lead and radon in drinking water, filter information, and a list of state drinking water offices.
TSCA ASSISTANCE INFORMATION SERVICE
Operates Monday to Friday from 8:30a.m. to 5p.m. EST. Provides information on regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act and on EPA's asbestos program.
Washington, DC 20207-0001
Product Safety Hotline: (800) 638-CPSC
Teletypewriter for the hearing impaired (outside Maryland): (800) 638-8270;
Recorded information is available 24 hours a day when calling from a touch-tone phone. Operators are on duty Monday to Friday from 10:30 to 4 EST to take complaints about unsafe consumer products.
CPSC Regional Offices
Eastern Regional Center
6 World Trade Center
Vesey Street, 3rd Floor Room 350
New York, NY 10048-0950
States in Eastern Region: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia
Central Regional Center
230 South Dearborn Street, Room 2944
Chicago, IL 60604-1601
States in Central Region: Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin
Western Regional Center
600 Harrison Street, Room 245
San Francisco, CA 94107
States in Western Region: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Office of Energy and the Environment, Washington, DC 20410
HUD USER National toll-free number: (800) 245-2691
In Washington, DC area: (301) 251-5154
Office of Conservation and Renewable Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20585
Conservation and Renewable Energy Inquiry and Referral Service (CAREIRS)
PO Box 3048, Merrifield, VA 22116; (800) 523-2929.
Operates Monday to Friday from 9 to 5 EST. Provides consumer information on conservation and
renewable energy in residences.
Division of Federal Occupational Health
Office of Environmental Hygiene, Region III, Room 1310
3535 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 596-1888; fax: 215-596-5024
Provides indoor air quality consultative services to federal agency managers.
Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4770 Buford Highway, NE (F-42)
Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
Office on Smoking and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4770 Buford Highway, NE (K-50)
Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
Office of Information and Consumer Affairs
Room N-3647, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Portland, OR 97208
18th and F Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20405
Industrial Hygiene Branch
Multipurpose Building (1-B)
Muscle Shoals, AL 35660
Your questions or concerns about indoor air problems can frequently be answered by the government agencies in your state or local government. Responsibilities for indoor air quality issues are usually divided among many different agencies. Calling or writing the agencies responsible for health or air quality control is the best way to start getting information from your state or local government. To obtain state agency contacts, write or call EPA's IAQ Information Clearinghouse, (800) 438-4318, (703) 356-4020 in the Washington, D.C. area.
The following organizations have information specifically discussed in this booklet. Call the IAQ Information Clearinghouse at (800) 438-4318 for the names of a variety of organizations that have more information on specific and general indoor air quality issues.
American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC)
3800 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM)
20 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 984-5800, ext. 308
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning (ASHRAE)
1791 Tullie Circle NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
World Health Organization (WHO)
49 Sheridan Avenue
Albany, NY 12210
Your Local American Lung Association (ALA)
National ALA Headquarters
New York, NY 10019
ACID AEROSOL: Acidic liquid or solid particles that are small enough to become airborne. High concentrations of acid aerosols can be irritating to the lungs and have been associated with some respiratory diseases, such as asthma.
ANIMAL DANDER: Tiny scales of animal skin.
ALLERGEN: A substance capable of causing an allergic reaction because of an individual's sensitivity to that substance.
ALLERGIC RHINITIS: Inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nose that is caused by an allergic reaction.
BUILDING-RELATED ILLNESS: A discrete, identifiable disease or illness that can be traced to a specific pollutant or source within a building. (Contrast with "Sick building syndrome").
CHEMICAL SENSITIZATION: Evidence suggests that some people may develop health problems characterized by effects such as dizziness, eye and throat irritation, chest tightness, and nasal congestion that appear whenever they are exposed to certain chemicals. People may react to even trace amounts of chemicals to which they have become "sensitized."
ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE (ETS): Mixture of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar and smoke exhaled by the smoker (also secondhand smoke or passive smoking).
FUNGI: Any of a group of parasitic lower plants that lack chlorophyll, including molds and mildews.
HUMIDIFIER FEVER: A respiratory illness caused by exposure to toxins from microorganisms found in wet or moist areas in humidifiers and air conditioners. Also called air conditioner or ventilation fever.
HYPERSENSITIVITY PNEUMONITIS: A group of respiratory diseases that cause inflammation of the lung (specifically granulomatous cells). Most forms of hypersensitivity pneumon-itis are caused by the inhalation of organic dusts, including molds.
ORGANIC COMPOUNDS: Chemicals that contain carbon. Volatile organic compounds vaporize at room temperature and pressure. They are found in many indoor sources, including many common household products and building materials.
PICOCURIE (pCi): A unit for measuring radioactivity, often expressed as picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air.
PRESSED WOOD PRODUCTS: A group of materials used in building and furniture construction that are made from wood veneers, particles, or fibers bonded together with an adhesive under heat and pressure.
RADON (Rn) AND RADON DECAY PRODUCTS: Radon is a radioactive gas formed in the decay of uranium. The radon decay products (also called radon daughters or progeny) can be breathed into the lung where they continue to release radiation as they further decay.
SICK BUILDING SYNDROME: Term that refers to a set of symptoms that affect some number of building occupants during the time they spend in the building and diminish or go away during periods when they leave the building. Cannot be traced to specific pollutants or sources within the building. (Contrast with "Building related illness").
VENTILATION RATE: The rate at which indoor air enters and leaves a building. Expressed in one of two ways: the number of changes of outdoor air per unit of time (air changes per hour, or "ach") or the rate at which a volume of outdoor air enters per unit of time (cubic feet per minute, or "cfm").
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