The IEQ Unit provides consultation, technical assistance, education, and training to local health departments, housing code enforcement officials, other state agencies, health care providers, and the public regarding environmental conditions in homes, schools and workplaces that can lead to poor IEQ and impact health.
IEQ in Schools
- Arts & Crafts Safety in Schools
- Cleaning for Healthier Schools-Infection Control Handbook
- Cleaning Schools Effectively the Safe and Healthy Way: Guidance for Superintendents and Facility Managers
- Conserving Energy
- EPA Tools for Schools
- Environmental Health Curricula
- Healthy Environments in Connecticut Schools
- Legionella Bacteria-Testing in Schools
- MRSA Facts for Schools
Tools for Office Buildings Program (For a program implementation CD call 860-509-7740)
- Child Day Care SAFER Program
- Environmental Hazards in Day Care Facilities
- Green Cleaning in Child Care Settings
- Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Curriculum for Early Care and Education
- Is Your Day Care Facility Green & Healthy?
- IPM for Child Care Centers
Air Purifiers - Air purifiers are devices that remove some of the particles and chemicals from indoor air. Certain types that intentionally produce ozone, called ozone generators, many pose a health danger.
Ozone Generators Sold As Air Cleaners (EPA Fact sheet)
Asbestos - Asbestos is a mineral fiber used in many products such as pipe insulation and floor tiles that can be harmful to health. It is a regulated substance. Refer to the DPH Asbestos Program for more information.
Azogue - Azogue is liquid (metallic) mercury that is often used by those practicing rituals associated with Esperitismo, Santeria and other Haitian, Caribbean and Latino cultural practices. The use of azogue can be very dangerous to your health.
Information for Health Care Providers:
Information for the Public:
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Indoor Spaces
- CT Guidelines for Mold Abatement Contractors
- Creating A Healthy Home: A Field Guide For Clean-Up of Flooded Homes - National Center for Healthy Housing
- Renovation/Construction in Occupied Buildings
Formaldehyde - Formaldehyde is a common indoor air pollutant chemical used in many products including particle board and plywood. It can cause respiratory and skin irritation. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen.
Green Living/Green Cleaning - A healthy environment is an important component of our physical and mental well-being. We can keep our families and the environment healthy by limiting exposure to harmful substances. We can do this by making informed choices about what we use and consume. Choose “green” or “environmentally preferred products” (EPP), which have less effect on human health and the environment than other products that serve the same purpose.
“Green” or “environmentally preferable products” (EPP) are products that have a reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to other products that serve the same purpose. The term “green” and the characteristics that have come to define it are currently not regulated. Some products are now being marketed as “green” that may not be any better for the environment than regular products. Check for the certification logo.
In the Home
- Science-Based, Third Party Certifiers:
- Breathe Easy While Cleaning Program - A program that teaches how to begin using safer cleaning products in the home. For a copy of the program implementation CD call 860-509-7740.
The fundamental principles of sustainable building design are:
Optimizing the building site; optimizing energy; protecting and conserving water; using environmentally preferable products (EPPs); enhancing indoor environmental quality; optimizing operational and maintenance practices.
Industrial Hygienists and other Indoor Environmental Quality consultants vary in their training and experience. Choose someone with experience and success with evaluating your type of situation. Before hiring, ask for and check credentials and references. Note that the State of Connecticut does not license or certify mold assessors, inspectors, or mold abatement professionals.*
*The Connecticut Department of Public Health does have licensing and certification requirements for asbestos, lead, and radon professionals.
- Guidelines for Selecting An Indoor Air Quality Consultant
- Find An Industrial Hygienist
- What Exactly Is A Certification?
- Find Certificants
Licensed Home Inspectors
Home inspectors may be helpful in identifying certain IEQ contaminants like moisture, rodent and insect infestations, and problems with furnaces that may lead to back drafting and carbon monoxide poisoning. Home inspectors have a variety of backgrounds and expertise. Choose someone with experience and success with evaluating your type of situation. Before hiring, ask for and check credentials and references. Note that Home Inspectors must be licensed and registered with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
Mold Abatement Contractors
If you decide to hire a contractor to remove moldly building materials and contents, the work area should be contained or segregated from non-contaminated areas. CT DPH recommends that those purchasing mold abatement services insist that contractors follow the Connecticut Guidelines for Mold Abatement Contractors as a condition of payment. Note that these are guidelines and not enforceable regulations. The state of Connecticut does not license or certify mold abatement contractors. There are professional trade organizations that offer mold abatement training, credentialing, and provide contractor lists for consumers. Before hiring, ask for and check credentials and references. Note that if the abatement involves more than simple cleaning, the contractor must be licensed and registered as a home improvement contractor with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
Restoration Industry Association (formerly called Association of Specialists in Cleaning & Restoration)
Insulation and Your Home: Health Considerations: Choosing among the variety of insulation materials and installers can be a daunting task. This insulation fact sheet focuses on three key things that can affect your health. Understanding these concepts will help you to become a more informed buyer and avoid common pitfalls that can lead to health problems.
- Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation: Technical Brief
Don't Mess With Mercury (video)
Mold - Molds are fungi that cause the disintegration of organic matter such as leaves, paper and wood. While all indoor environments have some mold that comes in from the outdoors, damp/moist indoor environments encourage mold growth indoors. This can lead to respiratory problems in building occupants.
Mold – General
Pest Management /IPM (Integrated Pest Management) - The best way to control pests is by using Integrated Pest Management or IPM. IPM is a common-sense approach that focuses on managing pests with the least possible impact on people, property and the environment. It incorporates measures for the long-term prevention of pests or their damage that look at environmental factors that affect the pest and its ability to thrive. Pests need habitats that provide air, moisture, food and shelter. For more information click on the following links:
- UCONN IPM Program
- Northeast IPM Center
- Stop Pests in Housing
- Cornell IPM Program
- CT DEEP Pest Management Program
- IPM for Child Care Centers
- CDC: Extreme Heat Web Page
- CTDPH: Providing Assistance During Heat Waves: Information for Local Health Departments
- EPA: Excessive Heat Events Guidebook in Brief
- EPA: Planning for Extreme Heat Web Page (includes links to easy to read fact sheets in English, Spanish, Arabic, Armenian, Chinese French, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese)
Tobacco Smoke - Tobacco smoke is a known carcinogen that affects both smokers and those around them (secondhand smoke). Refer to the DPH Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program for more information.
Technical Brief: Vapor Intrusion of VOCs: Evaluating the Risks to Buildings in Your Town (pdf)
- Ventilation and Air Quality in Offices (EPA)
- Building Air Quality: Action Plan (EPA)
- Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? (EPA)
- Use and Care of Home Humidifiers (EPA)
- An Office Building Occupant’s Guide to Indoor Air Quality
- The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - VOCs are carbon-based compounds that evaporate easily. VOCs include a wide variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Examples of VOCs include paints, cleaning supplies, and pesticides. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors than outdoors.