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EHSO's Sick Building Syndrome Information Pages

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) Resources

Publications and Additional Information

    This publication is intended to help consumers answer this often confusing question. The guide explains what air duct cleaning is, provides guidance to help consumers decide whether to have the service performed in their home, and provides helpful information for choosing a duct cleaner, determining if duct cleaning was done properly, and how to prevent contamination of air ducts. EPA-402-K-97-002, October 1997.

  • Clear Your Home of Asthma Triggers: Your Children Will Breathe Easier

    Learn about simple steps you can take to reduce the five most common asthma triggers in your home to improve your and/or your children's asthma. This brochure educates readers about environmental asthma triggers, and highlights the importance of controlling them in order to avoid provoking asthma episodes. It describes five asthma triggers, and suggests simple measures to help curb their presence in the home. The brochure is suitable for a broad audience, with a particular emphasis on parents and care givers of asthmatics. EPA Document Number 402-F-99-005, July 1999.

    A PDF version of this brochure is available in English (asthma.trifold.pdf - 244 KB) and Español (Mantenga su hogar libre de los factores que pueden provocar el asma �Sus ni�os respirar�n mejor! (asthma.trifold.spanish.pdf - 280 KB PDF file)).

    Discusses health hazards associated with exposure to carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas which can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, faintness, and, at high levels, death. Provides guidance on what to do if you think you are suffering from CO poisoning and what to do to prevent exposure to CO. Also included is a brief discussion about carbon monoxide detectors. EPA Document Number 402-F-96-005, October 1996.

    Proteja su vida y la de su familia: Evite el envenenamiento con mon�xido de carbono (EPA Document Number 402-F-97-004)

    The Carbon Monoxide fact sheet has also been translated into:
    Vietnamese (EPA Document Number 402-F-99-004C),
    Chinese (EPA Document Number 402-F-99-004A) , and
    Korean (EPA Document Number 402-F-99-004B)
    [All are available from IAQ INFO 1-800-438-4318.]

  • What You Should Know About Combustion Appliances and Indoor Air Pollution
  • Answers commonly-asked questions about the effect of combustion appliances (e.g., fuel-burning furnaces, space heaters, kitchen ranges, and fireplaces) on indoor air quality and human health. Describes other sources of combustion pollutants in and around the home. Suggests ways to reduce exposure to such pollutants and encourages proper installation, use, and maintenance of combustion appliances. This brochure was prepared by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Lung Association, and the EPA. EPA Document Reference Number 400-F-91-100, 1991

  • Carbon Monoxide, The "Senseless" Killer
  • Describes symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, sources of carbon monoxide in the home, and actions that can reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. This leaflet was prepared by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, CPSC Publication #CPSC-464, 1993.

  • Biological Pollutants in Your Home

    This document explains indoor biological pollution, health effects of biological pollutants, and how to control their growth and buildup. One third to one half of all structures have damp conditions that may encourage development of pollutants such as molds and bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions--including asthma--and spread infectious diseases. Describes corrective measures for achieving moisture control and cleanliness. This brochure was prepared by the American Lung Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. EPA Document Reference Number 402-F-90-102, January 1990.

    What You Should Know About Using Paint Strippers

    Paint strippers contain chemicals that loosen paint from surfaces. These chemicals can harm you if not used properly. Some paint stripping chemicals can irritate the skin and eyes, or cause headaches, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, or loss of coordination. Some may cause cancer, reproductive problems, or damage of the liver, kidney, or brain. Others catch fire easily. Proper handling and use of paint strippers will reduce your exposure to these chemicals and lessen your health risk. This brochure was prepared with EPA and the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, February 1995, CPSC Publication # F-747-F-95-002.

    The U.S. EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with the Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Environmental Protection has published a brochure on, "Healthy Indoor Painting Practices," which is available as a downloadable PDF file from the CPSC web site ( or from EPA at: This safety guide was formulated for residents, property managers and painters who are strongly urged to follow several simple steps to reduce possible adverse reactions to chemicals emitted from paints. The brochure is also available in Spanish EPA Publication Number 744-F-00-011, May 2000.

    An Update on Formaldehyde

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, with assistance of EPA, developed this brochure to provide information about formaldehyde in indoor air. The brochure tells consumers where they may come in contact with formaldehyde, how it may affect their health, and how their exposure to formaldehyde might be reduced. The publication was updated by CPSC

  • Building Air Quality Action Plan

    The Building Air Quality Action Plan (BAQ Action Plan) meets the needs of building owners and managers who want an easy-to-understand path for taking their building from current conditions and practices to the successful institutionalization of good IAQ management practices. It emphasizes changing how you operate and maintain your building, not increasing the amount of work or cost of maintaining your building. The BAQ Action Plan follows 8 logical steps and includes a 100-item Checklist that is designed to help verify implementation of the Action Plan. EPA Document Number 402-K-98-001.

    In order to use the Building Air Quality Action Plan effectively, one must have a thorough understanding of the concepts and practice of managing indoor air quality, an understanding that can be gained from a thorough reading of Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers (BAQ). In addition, there is extensive internal referencing of this BAQ Action Plan to the original BAQ guide, making it helpful and easy to use both documents together.

  • Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers

    The Building Air Quality, developed by the EPA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, provides practical suggestions on preventing, identifying, and resolving indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in public and commercial buildings. This guidance provides information on factors affecting indoor air quality; describes how to develop an IAQ profile of building conditions and create an IAQ management plan; describes investigative strategies to identify causes of IAQ problems; and provides criteria for assessing alternative mitigation strategies, determining whether a problem has been resolved, and deciding whether to consult outside technical specialists. Other topics included in the guide are key problem causing factors; air quality sampling; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; moisture problems; and additional sources of information. The order form is available from IAQ INFO via EPA Document Reference Number 402-F-91-102, December 1991.

    The text of Building Air Quality is available here as a series of PDF files which you can download and view or print. You can go to the table of contents and select just the form or section that you need to download and view/print, or you can download the entire PDF version of the guide as a ZIPPED file to view/print. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files and you will need a utility to unzip the file, both are provided here. Go to the Building Air Quality Table of Contents and select the specific PDF file that you require. Download the Adobe Acrobat Reader .

    To obtain the loose leaf-format version of the Building Air Quality, complete with appendices, an index, and a full set of useful forms, GPO Stock # 055-000-00602-4, for $28, contact the: Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954, or call (202) 512-1800, fax (202) 512-2250.

    Information on how to order the "Building Air Quality Training Kit" with instructor materials and handouts to conduct a 4-hour companion course ($150.00) to Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers, listed above is available through the IAQ INFO Clearinghouse .

    Information on how to order the "Orientation to Indoor Air Quality" instructor and student materials used to conduct a 21/2 day training course ($180.00) is available through the IAQ INFO Clearinghouse .

    An Office Building Occupant's Guide to Indoor Air Quality

    This booklet is intended to help people who work in office buildings learn about the factors that contribute to indoor air quality and comfort problems and the roles of building managers and occupants in maintaining a good indoor environment. Because good indoor air quality depends on the actions of everyone in the building, a partnership between building management and occupants is the best way to maintain a healthy and productive work space. EPA 402-K-97-003, October 1997.

  • Fact Sheet: Ventilation and Air Quality in Offices

    Discusses the role of mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in maintaining indoor air quality of commercial buildings such as offices, stores, and hotels. Topics include health problems associated with poor ventilation, ways of controlling pollution, ventilation standards and building codes, and various ventilation system problems and solutions. Provides measures for resolving air quality problems and sources for additional information. U.S. EPA, EPA Document Number 402-F-94-003, Revised July 1990.

    Fact Sheet: Sick Building Syndrome

    Explains the terms "sick building syndrome" (SBS) and "building related illness" (BRI). Discusses causes of sick building syndrome, describes building investigation procedures, and provides general solutions for resolving the syndrome. Indoor Air Facts No. 4 (revised), U.S. EPA, EPA Document Number 402-F-94-004, April 1991.

  • "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home" [EPA 402-K-02-003]

    This Guide provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth.


    "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings" [EPA 402-K-01-001, March 2001]

    This document presents guidelines for the remediation/cleanup of mold and moisture problems in schools and commercial buildings; these guidelines include measures designed to protect the health of building occupants and remediators. It has been designed primarily for building managers, custodians, and others who are responsible for commercial building and school maintenance. It should serve as a reference for potential mold and moisture remediators. EPA 402-K-01-001, March 2001.

    Available here in HTML and PDF (5MB file size) formats.

    Mold Resources

    Available here in HTML and PDF formats.

Sick Building and Indoor Air Quality Hotlines

For more information on topics discussed here, contact EHSO; email [email protected] , your state or local health department, a non-profit agency such as your local American Lung Association.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
US Department of Health and Human Services
4676 Columbia Parkway (Mail Drop R2)
Cincinnati, Ohio 45226

Public Relations Office
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
1791 Tullie Circle, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30329

Building Owners and Managers Association International
1250 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

IAQ Hotlines and Resources

IAQ INFO || National Radon Information Line & Radon Fix-it Line || National Hispanic Indoor Air Quality Hotline | Tools for Schools Technical Assistance Hotline

Check out the new Asthma "No Attacks" Hotline at: 1-866-662-8822 and call the Smoke-Free Home Pledge Hotline at: 1-866 SMOKE-FREE (1-866-766-5337)


Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Information Clearinghouse

You may call the toll-free number (800) 438-4318 to speak to an information specialist, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time. After hours, you may leave a voice message, or you may make inquiries by fax [(703) 356-5386] or via e-mail: [email protected] anytime.

Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 37133
Washington D.C. 20013-7133
Direct line: (703) 356-4020

What is the Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse (IAQ INFO)?

The IAQ INFO is an easily accessible, central source of information on indoor air quality, created and supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As concern about air pollution indoors has grown, so has the amount of information on this subject; but getting current, useful information can be a challenging task. The purpose of the IAQ INFO is to help you locate information to answer your questions about indoor air pollution.

Ways to save money AND help the environment:

Eat healthier AND save money: Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 Air Fryer and Electric Pressure Cooker Combo with Multicooker Lids that Fries, Steams, Slow Cooks, Sautés, Dehydrates

Save water AND money with this showerhead adapter, it lets the water flow until the water is hot, then shuts off water flow until you restart it, ShowerStart TSV Hot Water Standby Adapter

Protect your health with these:

Mattress Dust mite-Bedbug protector, 100% Waterproof, Hypoallergenic, Zippered

Handheld Allergen Vacuum Cleaner with UV Sanitizing and Heating for Allergies and Pet, Kills Mite, Virus, Molds, True HEPA with Powerful Suction removes Hair, Dander, Pollen, Dust,

Immune Support Supplement with Quercetin, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D3

GermGuardian Air Purifier with UV-C Light and HEPA 13 Filter, Removes 99.97% of Pollutants

5 Stage Air Purifier, Features Ultraviolet Light (UVC), H13 True Hepa, Carbon, PCO, Smart Wifi, Auto Mode, Quiet, Removes 99.97% of Particles, Smoke, Mold, Pet Dander, Dust, Odors

Interesting Reads:

THE PREPPER'S CANNING & PRESERVING BIBLE: [13 in 1] Your Path to Food Self-Sufficiency. Canning, Dehydrating, Fermenting, Pickling & More, Plus The Food Preservation Calendar for a Sustainable Pantry

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! Paperback

The Citizens' Guide to Geologic Hazards: A Guide to Understanding Geologic Hazards Including Asbestos, Radon, Swelling Soils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

Book: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Paperback

See Echo Dot on Amazon