AIR TOPICS: Indoor Air Quality

AIR TOPICS: Indoor Air Quality

ACTION ALERT

Please visit our Policy Resource Kit page to find out about current actions affecting Indoor Air Quality in your region
POLICY RESOURCE KIT

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Overview

NTAA works to better the condition of the air inside Tribal homes and other buildings by providing members with tools, information and policy actions to address indoor air quality issues. Indoor air covers all living spaces, from the attic to the basement, and also extends to areas around buildings. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a growing concern for Native American Tribal communities as the average American spends 90% of their time indoors. As Native Americans are more likely to have compromised health due to asthma and other respiratory ailments, good IAQ practices are critical to protecting public health in Tribal communities. On this page you find information about NTAA’s IAQ Work Group and Resources for Tribes to address Healthy Homes, Wood Stoves, Radon and other issues.

If you are a New Airhead click here…

Indoor Air Quality Work Group
Indoor Air Quality Issues
Indoor Air Quality Resources
EPA Resources
Funding Opportunities

Indoor Air Quality Work Group

The NTAA Indoor Air Quality Work Group is make up of Tribal Professionals with an interest in indoor air quality in Tribal homes and other buildings. NTAA’s IAQ Work Group strives to help improve IAQ in Indian country by developing policy actions on IAQ issues and by providing resources for Tribes including recorded webinars and presentations. Topics the IAQ Work Group cover include the following:

  • IAQ home assessments
  • Healthy Home IAQ Kits
  • Water intrusion issues
  • Radon testing in Tribal homes and communities
  • Radon mitigation
  • Funding needs for IAQ activities in Indian country
STAY IN TOUCH

Conference Calls of the NTAA IAQ Work Group are Every 3rd Thursday of every other month at 2 pm ET. For information on the next call, please check our Calendar.

Get the latest notifications, agendas, and relevant documents by subscribing to NTAA and becoming a member. Click here for the Weekly Update!

INDOOR AIR QUALITY WORK GROUP CONTACT:

Work Group Lead: Angela Benedict, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
angela.benedict@srmt-nsn.gov

Alternate Work Group Lead: Ernie Grooms, Red Cliff Band of Chippewa Indians
ernie.Grooms@redcliff-nsn.gov

NTAA Project Director: Andy Bessler
Andy.Bessler@nau.edu

Wood Smoke Work Group

Improving Indoor Air

NTAA and EPA established a work group to collaborate with Tribal, state, EPA and other involved entities with a purpose of researching, developing, and implementing a national residential wood stove program to address both the indoor and ambient air quality impacts from residential wood/coal burning stoves, as well as to address other wood smoke related issues on Tribal lands.

Woodstove Smoke

Many tribal homes use old, inefficient and dirty burning stoves for heating and cooking. These outdated stoves may also release wood smoke that is harmful to the health of residents, especially the young and the old. To avoid these health risks and to gain the greater efficiency and effectiveness of new, cleaner burning technology wood stoves, it is recommended that old stoves be gradually replaced or “changed out.”

HELPFUL LINKS

Calls are typically held on the 3rd Thursday of every other month at 2 pm ET. For information on the next call checkNTAA’s Calendar or NTAA’s Weekly Update

WOODSMOKE WORK GROUP CONTACT

Billie Toledo, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
billietoledo@pbpnation.org

Andy Bessler, NTAA Project Director
andy.bessler@nau.edu

WOODSMOKE WORK GROUP WEBINARS

Intro To Residential Wood Heating, Health Effects, Particle Pollution and More
Wood Stoves and Wood Stove Changeouts

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

EPA: Indoor Air Quality Wood Smoke
EPA: Burn Wise
EPA: Changeout Campaigns Case Studies
Tribal Healthy Homes Network: Woodsmoke and Smoke Events

INDOOR AIR QUALITY ISSUES

INDOOR AIR QUALITY ISSUES

Healthy Homes

On March 6, 2019 the NTAA IAQ Work Group hosted an informational webinar on tools tribes can use to improve the air quality of homes. The webinar included stories from Tribes around Indian Country as well as an introduction to the EPA Tribal Green Building website and funding sources.

WEBINAR
Policy Tools to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Tribal Homes

REPORT
Department of Energy’s Tribal Greenbuilding 101: 
How Tribes Can Build Homes with Sustainability in Mind

TOOLKIT
EPA’s Tribal Green Building Toolkit

Meth and Indoor Air Quality

The NTAA Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Work Group hosted a webinar on how the use and production of methamphetamine impacts tribes on Thursday, Oct 19, 2017. We invite you to join and learn more about this ongoing problem in tribal communities and the sensitive challenges it presents for families across Indian Country.

WEBINAR
Meth Awareness

Insects

In 2016, NTAA hosted a Federal Listening Session/Webinar entitled, “Stories of Bees, Bed Bugs and Hoarding: IAQ & Public Health Concerns.”

WEBINAR PRESENTATIONS

Vaping/Smoking

An emerging health concern across Indian Country is the growing use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products such as marijuana extracts. On June 26, 2019, the NTAA Indoor Air Quality Work Group presented a webinar that explored vaping and e-cigarettes and how Tribes can create and utilize policy tools to reduce the threats to indoor air quality. The 1½ hour-long webinar included speakers from the National Native Network and the California Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Control Program (CDPH).

WEBINAR

Policy Tools to Address Vaping and E-Cigarettes in Tribal Communities

To view the slides in PDF format, click here.

Radon

In 2016, NTAA signed onto the National Radon Action Plan to assist in the effort in reducing radon risk in 5 million homes and saving 3,200 lives annually by 2020. Radon, an invisible and odorless gas, can cause lung cancer.

The National Radon Action Plan needs your Tribe’s support as well. Download a template for your Tribe to fill out and send into the NTAA and the American Lung Association. Once you have filled out the declaration, please submit it to NTAA at Andy.Bessler@nau.edu.

EPA: Map of Radon Zones

Indoor Air Quality Resources

NTAA Resources

In 2015, the Indoor Air Quality Work Group concluded that a better understanding of IAQ in Tribal communities was needed in order for the group to properly begin its work. A decision was reached to conduct a national needs assessment that was prepared and released to all federally recognized Tribes that year. The first ever national needs assessment for IAQ in Tribal Communities involved 109 representatives from federally recognized tribes and took 14 months to complete. An update and revised report was released in May of 2017.

Tribal Resources

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) maintains a program to address IAQ in Tribal Communities. The goal of ITEP’s Indoor Air Quality in Tribal Communities (IAQTC) project is to assist tribal communities to reduce the environmental health risks posed by contaminants in indoor environments. Visit ITEP.

The Aleknagik Traditional Council in Alaska produced two videos that show simple, low-cost home improvements that improve indoor air quality and create a healthier home environment. Visit Aleknagik Traditional Council site for more information on their programs.

HELPFUL LINKS
NTAA Resources

REPORT
2017 National Indoor Air Quality Needs Assessment for Indian Country: Updated and Revised Edition

TRIBAL Resources

ITEP PRESENTATIONS & TRAININGS
IAQTC: Indoor Air Quality in Tribal Communities
ITEP: Air Quality Trainings Schedule
ITEP: Request For Technical Assistance

VIDEOS
The Aleknagik Traditional Council in Alaska produced two videos that show simple, low-cost home improvements that improve indoor air quality and create a healthier home environment.
Let’s Clear the Air: Simple Steps To A Healthier Home
Let’s Clear the Air: How To Take Care Of Your HRV

EPA Resources

The EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation recently published its Tribal Indoor and Radiation Strategy and Plan. It reflects the priorities of the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), the Office of Radiation & Indoor Air (ORIA), and the needs and priorities as expressed by many of the Tribes. This plan will discuss ORIA’s Tribal goals, and objectives and the specific activities that ORIA will conduct to meet them. This strategy and plan is considered a “living document.” Visit the EPA site to stay informed of the latest IA issues.

Funding Opportunities

The Tribal Healthy Homes Network and the EPA provide Tribes with the following lists of funding sources to help improve indoor air quality.

Tribal Healthy Homes Network: Funding Opportunities
Tribal Healthy Homes Network: Funding Directory
EPA: State and Tribal Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) Program
EPA: Funding Opportunities for Tribal Green Building
EPA: Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP)
EPA: Air Grants and Funding

PHOTOS FROM THE FIELD
TOP STORIES & HEADLINES
CALLS/WEBINARS/EVENTS
RESOURCES & FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
WEEKLY UPDATE (PDF)