Indoor Air Quality Tools

Policies, Programs, and Services

Reflecting and analyzing existing policies and programs can be helpful when deciding what would be the best programs and services for your community. The programs and policies included on this page include a variety of approaches that can offer ideas and guidance for IAQ efforts.

Analysis of Existing Policy

Improving Health of Housing in South King County
This paper, prepared for the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle King County (HDC), examines policies to improve health and housing quality in South King County, WA. The authors conducted a national literature review to determine best practices to address unhealthy housing and interviewed key officials and stakeholders from cities in South King County to understand local programs and their effectiveness better. Based on their findings, the authors developed a set of best practices recommended to be implemented in South King County to improve housing conditions and related health outcomes. [pdf; Housing Consortium, 2015]

State of Connecticut Public House Bill No. 5209: “An Act Imposing a Surcharge on Certain Insurance Policies and Establishing the Healthy Homes Fund”
This act imposes a $12 surcharge on some homeowners’ insurance policies to fund the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund’s assistance for homeowners with pyrrhotite-related concrete foundation damage, grants to certain homeowners in New Haven and Woodbridge with structural damage from subsidence or water filtration, and lead, radon, and other contaminant abatement activities. [pdf; State of Connecticut, 2018]

National Radon Action Plan (2021-2025) 
The National Radon Action Plan 2021-2025: Eliminating Preventable Lung Cancer from Radon in the United States by Expanding Protections for All Communities and Buildings is the third installment of a strategy anchored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to accelerate action on radon. The NRAP Leadership Council has sustained its collaboration to guide national radon action from 2015 through 2025; their goal is to find, fix, and prevent actionable indoor radon levels eight million buildings by 2025, to prevent approximately 3,500 lung cancer deaths annually, and to save 250,000 lives cumulatively in those buildings by century’s end. [pdf; NRAP, 2022]

Reflections on the National Radon Action Plan’s (NRAP) Progress 2015-2020 
Published by Radon Leaders, a coterie of experts on the topic, this progress report reflects on the accomplishments of the National Radon Action Plan (NRAP) between 2015 and 2020. The report details examples of how the NRAP has been effective in building radon testing and reduction into systemic building construction and maintenance processes. It also provides examples of how radon testing has become more commonplace in healthy home standards, despite the continuing need for implementing tax incentive strategies. In addition, the report notes the increased prevalence of certification requirements for radon measurement and mitigation workers. Finally, the report also notes how awareness of the risk that radon poses has grown; leaders now work across sectors and at different levels of government to strengthen this awareness. [pdf; Radon Leaders, 2020]

National Radon Action Plan: A Strategy for Saving Lives 
The National Radon Action Plan (NRAP) is the product of a collaborative effort between the American Lung Association and several other government and national organizations. The NRAP aims to eliminate radon-induced lung cancer by building on the previously established 2010 Federal Radon Action Plan. While the federal plan highlighted the importance of radon, provided incentives and support, and created demand for radon service professionals, the NRAP hopes to fill the gap of creating transformational change. The NRAP highlights a build-in approach, which embeds radon-reduction practices as the norm in behaviors, industry standards, and public policy. [pdf; NCHH, 2015]

Current ANSI/AARST National Radon Consensus Standards 
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and several other federal and state agencies use the ANSI/AARST national consensus standards. National consensus standards are available for all types of buildings. [url; AARST, 2019]

AARST Policy Work
AARST’s webpage includes links to federal, state, and local policy as well as building codes and standards. [url; AARST]

Indoor Air Quality in Rental Dwellings: State Laws Addressing Radon, Mold, and Secondhand Smoke 
With renters occupying almost a third of the United States’ housing units, state policymakers can advance healthy housing goals by strengthening their laws and regulations that establish minimum conditions in rental housing. Rental housing laws and regulations can address known health risks more directly by establishing precise requirements for specific indoor pollutants and are essential in reducing exposures to indoor air pollutants for vulnerable populations. While policymakers have been active in tackling certain IAQ issues in the rental housing context, such as with lead-based paint abatement and installation of carbon monoxide alarms, state laws relating to other important indoor pollutants are less developed. This resource discusses three of these pollutants—radon, mold, and secondhand smoke—and state legislation that has been adopted to date. [url; ELI, 2021]

Indoor Wood Burning: Policies to Reduce Emissions and Improve Public Health 
This comprehensive publication from Environmental Law Institute discusses various enacted policies for reducing harmful emissions from burning wood indoors. [pdf; ELI, 2021]

Environmental Health State Bill Tracking Database 
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environmental health bills that have been introduced across the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia. Environmental health legislation addresses environmental factors that may harm human health or the ecological balances essential to long-term human health and environmental quality, whether in the natural or human-made environment. [url; NCSL, 2022]

Smokefree Housing Ordinance: A Model California Ordinance Regulating Smoking in Multiunit Residences 
ChangeLab Solutions developed this model ordinance to help California cities and counties limit exposure to secondhand smoke in multiunit residences, such as apartment buildings, condominium complexes, senior housing, and single-resident occupancy hotels. This model ordinance is very broad and can be used to limit smoking in all types of multiunit dwelling places, from hotels to long-term healthcare facilities to apartments and condominiums. [doc, CLS, 2018]

Existing Programs

Asthma Community Network 
This online network provides a wealth of information and resources for community-based asthma programs and organizations that sponsor them—including representatives of health plans and providers, government health and environmental agencies, nonprofits, coalitions, schools and more. Specifically relevant to this module, explore podcasts and webinars highlighting the specific scope of services some home-based asthma service delivery programs are choosing to provide and learn more about how you can create a program or service that can adapt to the different needs of your client base. [url; ACN]

Washington State Weatherization plus Health Program Pilot: Pierce County Healthy Homes Case Study
This case study outlines how Pierce County Healthy Homes (PCHH) Partnership – with Weatherization plus Health (Wx+H) program funding—delivered integrated healthy homes services, including community health worker (CHW) engagement and home visits as well as energy efficiency and healthy homes upgrades to 53 low-income households in which 78 occupants with respiratory health concerns (such as asthma and COPD) resided. Initial results showed promising success in encouraging action and improving clients’ health and quality of life with respiratory disease. [pdf; WSU, 2019]

Sustainable Financing Mechanisms Case Study: New York’s Healthy Neighborhood Program 
This NCHH case study provides an overview of New York’s Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP), including the basic structure for program operations, outcomes/evaluation, and the evolution of financing mechanisms since the program’s inception in 1985. [pdf; NCHH, 2019]

Boston Housing Authority: Overview of the Outcome of the Healthy Pest Free Housing Initiative 
This Boston Housing Authority (BHA) report details how tenant health and stress, pest infestation levels, pesticide use, and tenant tobacco use have changed in BHA public housing units after the implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) practices. Overall, the results were positive in that reported health and stress levels improved, cockroach and mouse infestations decreased, and pesticide use decreased as a result. It was also seen that pest control work requests decreased after IPM implementation and that this approach requires more than one year of implementation to be truly effective. Although the costs of implementation increased more than expected over the three years the study was conducted, it was decided that the benefits outweighed the costs. [url; BHA]

EPA State Indoor Radon Grants (SIRG) Program and Resources 
This EPA webpage provides an overview of the SIRG program including general information, annual, activities report applying and managing grants, Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) checklist and templates, and more. [url; EPA, 2022]

Woodsmoke Reduction Program 
The Woodsmoke Reduction Program offers financial incentives to homeowners to “replace old, inefficient, and highly polluting wood stoves, wood inserts, or fireplaces with cleaner burning and more efficient home heating devices.” The legislation also authorizes money from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) to be appropriated for incentives offered as part of the Program. State Budgets appropriated $5,000,000 in FY 2021-22 to CARB to incentivize replacement of old, uncertified wood burning devices with cleaner options. The Woodsmoke Reduction Program is part of the California Climate Investments program, which puts cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities—and strengthening the state economy. [url; CARB]

Best Practices for Policy/Program Development

Air Quality Improvement: Guide for Local Governments 
Published by the National Association of Counties (NACo), the only national organization representing county governments in the U.S., this guide is designed for local governments to craft and implement policies that improve air quality. Their framework is drawn from an analysis of numerous local governments across the U.S. and their efforts to improve air quality. It highlights air awareness programs, woodstove programs, public transportation, commuter benefits programs, neighborhood connectivity, energy efficiency, tree-planting programs, infill redevelopment, greenways and open spaces, air monitoring, and air emergencies, air quality partnerships, and provides an air quality glossary. [pdf; NACo, 2007]

Resources for RRNC [Radon-Resistant New Construction] Code Adoption 
This Kansas State University webpage includes numerous background resources relating to radon-resistant new construction for state and tribal radon programs. Two webinars highlight state and tribal code adoption case studies and share ideas for partnerships and building capacity to engage in radon code adoption work. [url; KSU]

The Asthma Mitigation Project: Final Evaluation Report 
Administered by the Center at Sierra Health Foundation, with funding from the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the Asthma Mitigation Project funded 28 organizations to provide comprehensive asthma education and environmental asthma trigger mitigation through home visits using a culturally responsive, participant-centered, and holistic approach. The initiative added to the body evidence in support of the efficacy of asthma home visiting services, and influenced DHCS’s decision to incorporate these services within Medi-Cal. Recently, the Center released the Final Evaluation Report, which celebrates the project’s accomplishments and offers valuable recommendations for the future of this work. [pdf; CSHF, 2023]

Unlocking the Power of Home-Based Asthma Services: Model Health Benefit Packages 
A collaboration between NCHH and Regional Asthma Management and Prevention, this tool equips managed care organizations (MCOs) or other healthcare payers with the information they need to improve asthma management among their enrollees by ensuring the provision of asthma home visiting services. It also addresses the key roles that other community, state, and federal stakeholders play in motivating and supporting healthcare payers in this effort. The tool describes the scope, staffing, and services associated with home-based asthma services that identify and address environmental asthma triggers in the home environment. The tool includes tiers of services (e.g., from a very basic set of services to more premium sets of services) to provide a range of options for payers at different levels of readiness to provide home-based asthma services and includes recommendations to support action from a range of critical stakeholders. [pdf; NCHH/RAMP, 2022]

Healthy Planning Guide 
Published by the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative and ChangeLab Solutions, Healthy Planning Guide was intended to help public health and planning departments collaborate on strategies to promote healthier communities. Each page links health risks to aspects of the built environment, outlining ways to ensure that neighborhoods are designed to support health equity and community well-being. [pdf; BARHII/CLS, 2009]

National Healthy Housing Standard 
The National Healthy Housing Standard is a living tool for property owners, elected officials, code agency staff, and all who are concerned about housing as a platform for health. Individually and together, it constitutes minimum performance standards for a safe and healthy home, providing health-based measures to fill gaps where no property maintenance policy exists and also serving as a complement to the International Property Maintenance Code and other housing policies already in use by local and state governments and federal agencies. [url; NCHH, 2014]


Latest page update: April 22, 2024.