California Interagency Working Group
on Indoor Air Quality
DHS Richmond Laboratory Campus, Richmond
CalEPA Headquarters Building, Sacramento
U.S. Federal Interagency Committee on IAQ (NEW LISTING!)
The San Francisco Chapter of the American Indoor Air Quality Council is hosting a workshop on March 29, called: Mold, Allergens, Sampling and Data Interpretation, with speakers David F. Gallup, & Dr. Harriet Burge. The program can be found at:
The revised Report to the Legislature on Indoor Air Pollution in California, required by Assembly Bill 1173 (Keeley,), is now available for public review at:
and will be considered by the Air Resources Board on March 17,. The previous draft Report (released November) was reviewed by an external scientific peer review panel. The Report has been revised in response to comments received from the public and from the external scientific peer review panel.
AGENCY REPORTS ON CURRENT IAQ ACTIVITIES
-- Bonnie Holmes-Gen ()
No report submitted this quarter. Check their web site (above).
-- Elinor Blake,
-- Saffet Tanrikulu,
No report submitted this quarter.
-- Peggy Jenkins ()
The revised Report to the California Legislature, Indoor Air Pollution in California, was forwarded to a scientific peer review panel on November 24,. It is also available on the ARB website at Staff also are preparing responses to the comments received; the responses will be available on the website as soon as they are completed. The public and interested stakeholders can submit written comments on the November draft report until December 28, . The report will be revised one more time, based on comments from the scientific panel and the public, and then be presented to the Board for their review.
Staff presented findings of the Portable Classrooms Study at a monthly meeting of the Redwood Empire chapter of the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The chapter members consisted of ventilation engineers in the private and public sectors in the Marin and Sonoma Counties area. The meeting was well attended, and the members appreciated learning about indoor air quality and acoustics issues in classrooms. A lengthy question-and-answer period followed which included questions about litigation or legislation that might follow our study.
Staff participated in a U.S. EPA-sponsored two-day meeting of indoor air quality program managers from across the nation in early October. Two panels sessions were conducted, one on mold policies and programs, and the second on schools issues. At the latter, staff presented the results of the California Portable Classrooms Study to the group. Other presentations included U.S. EPAs current priorities; CDCs new research initiative on the health effects of mold; U.S. EPAs recent research on the impacts of indoor air quality on human performance; and an interesting presentation on research on shelter-in place as part of a planning process for national emergency preparedness. This meeting, like its predecessors, was very stimulating and rewarding, and provided substantial new information useful in many of our projects.
RD staff recently met with the principal investigator, Robert Clickner of Westat, and co-investigator, Hal Levin, along with the staff of the California Energy Commission, to kick off the project Analysis of Building Characteristics and Indoor Environmental Quality in California Classrooms.. The objective of this project is to further analyze variables on ventilation and other energy-related factors, and examine their relationship to indoor air quality and other environmental characteristics in classrooms. In addition, the association of environmental health conditions with a schools socioeconomic indicators will be examined, to the extent feasible. The results of this study will be used to help determine whether revisions to building standards are needed to improve energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in California schools, and to improve guidance to California schools regarding how they can improve indoor air quality and ventilation.
A survey questionnaire has been drafted and pre-tested, and will be mailed soon by UCBs Survey Research Center (a current contractor) to about 1,000 new single-family homes in selected areas of California. The survey will obtain information on new home residents use of windows, doors, fans, and mechanical ventilation systems relative to providing sufficient outdoor air exchange, and will examine their experiences with indoor air quality and comfort in their new homes. A Request for Proposals (RFP) for an associated field study, Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality in New Homes, also has been released. Those who are interested in obtaining the RFP should go to: . In this study, investigators will obtain field measurements on ventilation characteristics and indoor air quality (IAQ) in new single-family detached homes in California. The results from the survey and those from the follow-on field study will provide information the CEC needs to assess the impact of current energy efficiency standards and help determine the need for mechanical ventilators in new homes. ARB will use the information to better estimate occupants potential exposures to toxic air contaminants, and to provide improved guidance to the public on reducing indoor air pollution in their homes.
-- Michael ONeil ()
Staff Changes. In several of the major agencies involved in school approval and construction have experienced a change in directors/officers, including the Division of State Architect, the Office of Public School Construction, the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the School Facilities Planning Division. SFPD Consultant Tony Hesch and Architect Steve Newsom have left state service. The SFPDs new architect Diane Waters and Environmental Coordinator Michael ONeill will be the departments IAQ contacts.
Legislation Becomes Effective. SB352 (Escutia) became effective January 1,. This bill amended Education Code 17213 and Public Resources Code 21151.8 regarding district required determinations and findings when acquiring new school sites. CDE now verifies that these determination/findings have been made when processing requests for new school site approvals. Specifically this bill added a requirement that if a proposed school site is located within 500 feet of a freeway or busy traffic corridor, the district must conduct air dispersion modeling and after considering potential mitigation measures (e.g. air filtration systems), make a finding that the air quality at the site is such that neither short-term nor long-term exposure poses significant health risk to pupils. The bill also expanded the requirement for districts to identify and make health risk findings for both permitted and now non- permitted facilities and other pollution sources within mile of a proposed site that might be anticipated to emit hazardous air emissions.
Williams Lawsuit Settlement and Implementation. The case settlement and approved new legislation (SB 6 and SB 550) have imposed several new requirements on school and school districts, including: a one-time facilities need assessment for lower performing schools identifying emergency repairs that are needed, all districts receiving state facilities funding must establish a facilities inspection system to ensure that each school is maintained in good repair, and expansion of a Uniform Complaint Procedure to allow for complaints regarding facility conditions posing a health or safety threat. (see CDE web page and a timeline on the Office of Public School Construction web page )
Naturally Occurring Asbestos & School Sites. The USEPA and ASTDR, as well as several state and local agencies, have continued to be involved in investigations and remediation activities for Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA) in El Dorado County, including several existing school sites. Although there are no health based risk standards available yet, numerous indoor and outdoor air-sampling activities have been conducted. CDE is continuing to monitor the results of these activities and the involvement of federal agencies for potential statewide implications for school sites, as NOA has been identified in at least 45 of the 58 counties. In CDE will meet with various divisions in USEPA to exchange ideas and explore coordinated cooperation in a variety of initiatives by both agencies related to safe school environments.
CHPS. The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) utilizes Special Environmental Requirements specifications (section 01350) as it low-emitting materials benchmark for building materials. CHPS has now assumed the responsibility for maintaining a list of products that do in fact meet these specifications . DSA will also manage an online data base that will serve as a resource for owners, architects, and contractors to find environmentally preferable building products that have been screened against a comprehensive set of environmental, health, and performance criteria. At least 11 school districts have adopted resolutions that all of their future schools will meet CHPS guidelines
School Energy & Resource Efficiency. Although the Governor vetoed CHPS bill AB736 that would have required school modernization projects to meet certain CHPS standards, the Governor has issued an Executive Order S-20-04 on December 14, which states the Division of the State Architect (DSA) should adopt guidelines by December 31, to enable and encourage schools built with state funds to be resource and energy efficient. DSA is putting together a working group for the preparation of these guidelines.
-- Sandra McNeel ()
In January a new California law went into effect allowing students with asthma to carry and self-administer their prescribed asthma medication. This legislation amended the California Education Code so that students with asthma can have immediate access to their potentially life-saving medications. A 1-page fact sheet summarizing how students, parents and school staff can take advantage of this new law has been developed by California Breathing and is available at
In October California Breathing staff joined US EPA IAQ representatives, a school nurse and a parent of asthmatic children in producing a Public Access cable television program. Participants discussed childhood asthma, the importance of good IAQ in schools as an important tool of asthma management, and the US EPA Tools for Schools program as an efficient and helpful method for improving school environmental quality.
California Breathing staff have applied for an EPA grant from the Office of Childrens Health Promotion to provide training and technical assistance to Mendocino County in developing an asthma coalition and understanding environmental asthma triggers. If funded, the grant will support workshops on IAQ in both schools and homes.
BASTA (the Border Asthma & Allergies Study) is a school-based survey of 13 and 14 year olds in Imperial County with asthma, asthma symptoms and allergies. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and conducted by researchers in the Exposure Assessment Section of Environmental Health Investigations Branch, this study will examine family, environmental (including indoor) and socio-economic influences on asthma. Asthma prevalence and risk factors in a population of approximately 3500 students will be compared and contrasted with a similar group of students on the Mexican side of the border. Investigators plan to complete these goals by August.
Correlates of Active and Passive Smoking in the California Teachers Study Cohort. Reynolds P, Hurley S, et al. Journal of Womens Health, 13(7):778-790.
The abstract can be found on PubMed at:
-- Jed Waldman () https://www.cal-iaq.org/
Leon Alevantis leaves IAQ Program to join Program Support Branch. After almost 20 years with DHS Indoor Air Quality Program, Leon is taking a position as a senior mechanical engineer in DHS Program Support Branch. He will be based in Sacramento, working in the Facilities Planning and Development Section. We wish him the best (and we know he will continue to make important contributions in IAQ, wherever he is).
Tire-derived Resilient Flooring Emission Study. Using funding from California Tire Fees, we are starting a study to evaluate chemical emissions from tire-derived resilient flooring products, as well as manufacturer-recommended sealers and adhesives. The new study extends our investigation of these products as part of the Building Materials Emission Study completed in. The prior study reported emissions using a 14-day protocol developed within DHS (Practice for Testing of VOCs from Building Materials Using Small Chambers) in which 11 rubber-based, tire-derived flooring products were tested. In the current study, two improvements are being incorporated. First, the analytical protocol will be modified to better identify unresolvable chemicals within the amorphous peaks often associated with GC/MS analyses of rubber compounds. Second, a schedule of repeated tests will provide longitudinal data over 3 months and determine changes in emission rates over time for these products. This study of long-term emissions of the chemicals from tire-derived resilient flooring products will be used in the States effort to develop Chronic Reference Exposure Levels appropriate to address indoor exposures. See related links below:
BASE. DHS is coming to the end of current funding to evaluate the U.S. EPA BASE data on biologicals. The following accomplishments were identified, in preparation of a meeting with EPA in January:
Analyze the indoor -outdoor patterns systematically for airborne bacteria and integrate findings with other studies to report baseline concentrations in the office buildings. Similar approach was taken for the allergen data, except no outdoor measurements.
Collaboration with Dr. Mark Mendell (LBNL) on the analysis of AMIMO (Airborne Moisture-Indicating Micro-Organism) and the health symptoms reported in the occupant survey.
Surgeon General's Workshop on Healthy Indoor Environment. Jed Waldman and Feng Tsai attended this Workshop at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda MD, January 12 and 13, . The workshop brought together experts on IAQ issues with members of the public health community. The program included many outstanding presentations, both on the science and the organizational issues affecting healthy indoor environments. Organizers included ample discussion about research needs. The Surgeon General was present for some of the workshop, and he discussed the options that his office will consider. Still, we were left with the concern that little new will come out of this meeting; the same players were involved, and no new resources or opportunities were identified.
-- Liz Katz ()
-- George Faggella ()
The Radon Program goals are to educate and increase the public awareness of the risks of radon in indoor air. The program (ongoing for 14 years) promotes radon testing of homes, businesses, and schools, works to identify areas with the potential for elevated levels of radon in indoor air due to geology, etc. and is responsible for listing individuals certified to perform radon services in California. The program is run by DHS Environmental Management Branch, within the Division of Drinking Water & Environmental Management.
Radon-222 is a radioactive gas released during the natural decay of thorium and uranium, which are common, naturally occurring elements found in varying amounts in rock and soil. Odorless, invisible, and without taste, radon cannot be detected with the human senses. Radon-222 decays into radioactive elements, two of which are polonium-218 and polonium-214. Both of these radioactive elements emit alpha particles that are highly effective in damaging lung tissue. These alpha-emitting radon decay products have been implicated in a causal relationship with lung cancer in humans. The risk of developing lung cancer is directly proportional to the levels and duration of exposure to radon. The levels of radon vary throughout the country and the concentrations entering homes varies from home to home.
The program web-site includes the following information and links:
Free Short-term Radon Test
Providers of Radon Services
EPA's Radon Potential Map of California and Explanation
Radon Data Sorted by Zip Code
Additional Web Sites with Information on Radon and Other Indoor Air Quality Topics CGS Hazardous Minerals, Radon
US EPA Indoor Air Quality, Radon
Videos on Radon Testing, Mitigation, and General Information
At the present time there is insufficient test data available for most counties in the state to determine if there are radon hot spots or to determine if the radon potential established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accurately reflects the county's radon potential. For example, the central coast and the Sierra Nevada regions of California have geological units that can contain elevated levels of uranium and greater likelihood of elevated indoor air levels of radon. Because Radon distribution is not random, the Program has developed a screening protocol based on geology that accomplishes public education and detection of radon hot spots.
The counties targeted for the campaign are Amador, Calaveras, Toulumne, and San Luis Obispo. Monterey County is targeted for . A 1-degree by 2-degree geological map (raster digital map) will be prepared for each of the Counties. The voter registration information and the tax role information is geo coded onto the map. The pool of individuals recruited to test their homes will be selected from each geological unit within the county. Selection of the recruitment pool will factor in the area of the geological unit, the spatial distribution of the prospective sampling points, home owner exemption, and the number of sampling points available within the geological unit.
The results (in-home radon concentrations) from the screening program will be added to the geological map to create a more accurate radon potential map for each county. The maps will be available on the California Geological Survey Hazardous Minerals Division Website
and summaries of data (statewide radon data base) will be available on the Radon Program web site
The maps will also be distributed to interested city and county agencies.
--Bob Nakamura ()
IAQ Advisory Committee. The next meeting is tentatively planned for early. Deborah Gold and Bob Nakamura have also participated in the review of the survey of portable classrooms done by the Air Resources Board with the Department of Health Services, and the Portable classroom white paper by the Integrated Waste Management Board.
Respiratory Protection for M. Tuberculosis Section 5147. Federal OSHA announced at the end of that it would be revoking its temporary standard pertaining to respirators used to protect employees from TB exposures, and apply the general industry respiratory protection standard to that segment of respirator users. This accompanied an announcement that OSHA would not promulgate a comprehensive TB standard as planned. The primary effect of this change is to require annual fit testing for respirators used during occupational exposure to TB. Cal/OSHA must adopt standards that are equally effective, and at the June Standards Board hearing, the Board rescinded section 5147 and apply the respiratory protection standard, section 5144, to respirators used against TB. However, in response to concerns from the health care employers, an implementation date of October 18, was adopted.
Also, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board heard and adopted on an emergency basis a proposal from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) to modify Section 5144 of the General Industry Safety Orders, in regards to the use of respirators to protect employees against tuberculosis. Rulemaking to make the change permanent will be finalized in January of. This proposal grandfathered acceptance of medical evaluations for filtering facepiece respirator users done on or before October 18, and extended the deadline for fit testing low-risk filtering facepiece respirator (eg. N95) users until January 18,. The Division also initated an advisory meeting process for developing an airborne infectious disease standard and has held two meetings, on July 26th and November 5th of.
-- Obed Odoemelam ()
No report submitted this quarter.
-- Pamela Davis ()
No report submitted this quarter. Check their web site (above).
--Jennifer Kanouse, ()
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory / Indoor Environments Program -- Mike Apte ()
No report submitted this quarter. Check their web site (above).
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment / Indoor Air Risk Assessment Group
-- Richard Lam ()
-- Janice Kim ()
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a complex mixture of chemicals generated during the burning and smoking of tobacco products to which non-smokers are exposed. Researchers have identified over 4,000 individual constituents in ETS, many of which are known or suspected human carcinogens and toxic agents. The potential adverse health effects from exposure to ETS warrants its nomination for identification as a toxic air contaminant.
In, OEHHA, and the Air Resources Board (ARB) participated in the development of a health study on the effects of ETS and published the report, Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke,. Since then OEHHA) and ARB have further evaluated ETS and are undertaking an effort to identify ETS as a toxic air contaminant (TAC) as mandated by the Assembly Bill 1807 program.
OEHHA has jointly prepared the report with ARB, Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant, October. This report includes the Executive Summary, Part A (exposure assessment), Part B (health effects), and Part C (responses to public comments) documents. The Scientific Review Panel (SRP) on Toxic Air Contaminants will consider this version of the report, along with the comments received on the public review, at a noticed public meeting.
OEHHA has released a draft document Chronic Toxicity Summary for Silica (Crystalline, Respirable) for use in implementing the Air Toxics Hot Spots Program. This document presents a toxicity summary and chronic REL for crystalline silica, particularly when this material is composed of particles of respirable size, as defined by the current NIOSH method. OEHHA received a number of comments on an earlier draft of this document, which was amended in response. The second draft of the document and responses to public comments, are now available for review.
Or follow this link to download the chronic toxicity summary for silica
OEHHA has recently completed studies that show a possible link between air pollution from nearby traffic and respiratory symptoms in children. There is a growing body of evidence that the prevalence of asthma and bronchitis symptoms in children may be higher in neighborhoods with high levels of traffic pollution. The preliminary results of the studies from OEHHA formed part of the scientific basis for a state law (Senate Bill 352) by Senator Escutia that limits the construction of new schools near busy roads.
East Bay Children's Respiratory Health Study
(10/19/ - pdf)
Health study results (abstract)
Air monitoring results (abstract)
Traffic fact sheets:
Air Pollution from Nearby Traffic and Children's Health: Information for Parents (pdf)
Air Pollution from Nearby Traffic and Children's Health: Information for Schools (pdf)
OEHHA is adding 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of (Proposition 65). The listing of the chemical is effective December 7, .
1-Bromopropane (1-BP) (CAS No. 106-94-5) is listed as a chemical known to the State of California to cause reproductive toxicity for the developmental, female and male reproductive endpoints. The listing of this chemical is based on a formal identification by an authoritative body (i.e., the National Toxicology Program [NTP]) that the chemical causes developmental, female and male reproductive toxicity. 1-BP is mostly used as a solvent for fats, waxes, or resins. It is also used in spray adhesives, and as a cleaner for metal and electronic components, where indoor exposure to the chemical is possible. A document providing more detail on the basis for the listing of 1-bromopropane is available on-line at
Proposition 65 was intended to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals. There have been common questions on Proposition 65 warnings, exemptions, acceptable concentrations, etc., from the public and OEHHA has issued a fact sheet on the subject. The fact sheet is available on-line at
OEHHA is making available for review and comment the draft report on the proposed child specific reference dose for school site risk assessment for the chemicals, manganese and pentachlorophenol. These chemicals are among chemical contaminants commonly found at school sites and determined by OEHHA to be of greatest concern based on child-specific physiological sensitivities. Health and Safety Code Section 901(g) requires OEHHA to annually evaluate and publish, as appropriate, numerical health guidance values for these chemical contaminants. Manganese and pentachlorophenol are being considered at this time
Development of Health Criteria for School Site Risk Assessment Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 901(g): PROPOSED CHILD-SPECIFIC REFERENCE DOSE (chRD) FOR SCHOOL SITE RISK ASSESSMENT, Manganese and Pentachlorophenol.
-- Andrea Hricko ()
-- Debbie Decker ()
The IAQ Work Group will once again be conferring monthly and working on our "Mold Recognition and Clean-Up" document. The UC Industrial Hygienists and Safety Committee will be releasing a new edition of the Laboratory Design Guide in July of and the Committee is consumed with those editing tasks.
-- Barbara Spark ()
-- Bill Jones ()
-- Shelly Rosenblum
-- Louise Hill ()
IAQ/Schools - EPA hosts 5th Annual IAQ Tools for Schools National Symposium. Taking place December 2-4, in Washington, DC, the event was again sold out with over 550 attendees from national EPA program partner organizations, schools, and other school stakeholders. The Symposium was particularly energized by an opening session featuring school IAQ projects led by students, with both students and their teachers making exciting presentations. The LAUSD school nursing program gave a well-received repeating workshop about their IAQ Tools for Schools program, featuring a short video created for them by affable PBS program host Huell Howser. California attendees included three members of the Teachers Association of Long Beach, and a member of the California Teachers Association State Board. They met with Barbara Spark to discuss constructive avenues for union engagement with the Tools for Schools implementation process. More about the Symposium and past presentations can be found at
Bill Jones Relocates to Long Beach. EPA Region 9 Childrens Health and Schools Coordinator Bill Jones has relocated to our Los Angeles field office, where he will split his duties between his previous position and also serve as Marine Sector Coordinator for the West Coast Diesel Emissions Reduction Collaborative. Bills e-mail address remains the same, and his new phone number is .
Pilot Healthy School Environments Assessment Tools (SEAT). In a project headed up by Bob Axelrad (HQ Indoor Environments Division) and Bill Jones, pilot testing will begin in February on the SEAT, which is based on a program developed by LAUSD. The SEAT is seeking to develop a unique tool to assist school districts in evaluating all of their school facilities for key environmental, safety and health issues. Healthy SEAT is a completely voluntary tool that will be provided at no cost to school districts to help them establish and implement fully integrated and comprehensive assessments of each of their school facilities. The tool allows districts to maintain and analyze a database of environmental assessment reports across the entire district. Information in the database can be customized so that the user can view and print specific recommendation reports. Visalia Unified School District in Visalia, California is one of the nine pilot projects nationally. It is expected that the tool will be formally launched in October,. Prior to that, improvements to the toll will be made based on the field tests, and the final draft will be posted on the web for public comment.
IAQ / Schools / California School Boards Association. Shelly Rosenblum provided a workshop on the IAQ Tools for Schools program at the annual meeting of the California School Boards Association December 2. Follow-up meetings are exploring enhance involvement of CSBA with EPAs IAQ in schools initiatives.
IAQ / Schools / California Breathing. Shelly Rosenblum and Barbara Spark joined other trainers in providing workshops on indoor air in schools for asthma stakeholders in four areas: El Centro, Fresno, Long Beach, and Sonoma County. The workshops were organized by Deanna Rossi of the DHS California Breathing program, in coordination with Anne Kelsey of CAFA, Community Action to Fight Asthma.
-- Philip P. Jalbert ( )
In, EPA established the Federal Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality (CIAQ) to coordinate the activities of the Federal Government on issues relating to Indoor Air Quality. The CIAQ is co-chaired by EPA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Other Federal Departments and Agencies participate as members.
The CIAQ meets quarterly in January, April, July, and October. Meetings are public and are held at the U.S. EPA Offices (1310 L Street, NW) Washington, DC. Minutes are made available soon after each meeting (see
Upcoming meetings of the CIWG-IAQ are scheduled as follows:
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