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Air & Healthy Homes

Working with Tribal partners to address air quality and healthy homes issues in their communities




Air & Healthy Homes Program
(907) 729-3430
(907) 729-3502
ceh@anthc.org

The Air and Healthy Homes program works with Tribal partners to address air quality and healthy homes issues in their communities. Rural communities face a range of air quality challenges. Common air quality concerns include indoor air quality in homes and schools, solid waste burning, smoke, road dust, and mold and moisture intrusion.

Tribal Air Quality
The Tribal Air Quality program works with communities to increase public awareness of air quality issues and to enhance Tribal capacity to address local air quality concerns. The program offers mini grants to fund locally-managed air quality projects and provides technical assistance and support in the development and implementation of air quality projects.

Healthy Homes
The Healthy Homes program provides education and tools to help residents improve their home environment by improving indoor air quality and reducing indoor air pollutants. In collaboration with local environmental departments, the Healthy Homes program also provides technical support, education and training and air monitoring equipment.

ANTHC Tribal Air Quality Program Subawards
The ANTHC Tribal Air Quality Program has provided funding to Tribes to carry out air quality projects in rural Tribal communities since 2011. Projects are encouraged to include creative ways to address air quality concerns. Typical air quality concerns in a community might be indoor air quality, solid waste burning, wood smoke, road dust, outdoor air pollution, etc. Subawardees work in partnership with the ANTHC Tribal Air Quality Program staff to complete the project and refine the work plan. This funding is provided by a US Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Act 103 Grant.

2011
Aleknagik Traditional Council – The purpose of this project was to evaluate indoor air quality of homes and buildings in Aleknagik and to educate residents on the importance of good air quality. Data was collected on carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, humidity, temperature, and Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5). The results of the project helped Aleknagik determine how to focus future efforts to improve indoor air quality in their community.
Nunakauyak Traditional Council – This project focused on addressing road dust in the community of Toksook Bay. Efforts began with community education on the health effects of road dust and what residents can do to reduce the amount of road dust. Using project funds, they were also able to purchase speed limit/yield signs and a water sprayer trailer.
Pedro Bay Village Council – The purpose of this project was to perform assessments of homes in Pedro Bay to gather data on what the biggest indoor air quality concerns are in the community. Home assessments included interviews, visual assessments, and photographs. Homeowner educations was also provided during the assessments. This project helped the community of Pedro Bay determine what the next steps are to move forward with improving the indoor air quality of homes.

2012
Chignik Lagoon Village Council – The purpose of this project was to improve indoor air quality in homes by installing carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. Chignik Lagoon was successful in passing a tribal ordinance that stated that it is mandatory to have a CO detector in each living level of every home. Through this project, 22 homes and 17 fishing vessels received CO detectors. Educational sessions on carbon monoxide gas were given to the students of Chignik Lagoon.
Northway Village – The purpose of this project was to improve indoor air quality for the residents of Northway. This was done by conducting baseline air monitoring inside homes, performing visual inspections, providing resident education, and completing home repairs.
Seldovia Village Tribe – The purpose of this project was to obtain baseline data for road dust using air monitoring equipment loaned from ANTHC. Education on the health effects of road dust and the monitoring results were provided to community residents.

2013
Village of Lower Kalskag – The purpose of this project was to collect air quality data on road dust. The project also included household surveys to learn more about the air quality concerns of community residents. Education on the health effects of road dust was provided to school students.
Native Village of Old Harbor – The purpose of this project was to gather baseline data for road dust in Old Harbor as well as educate residents about the health effects of road dust and how road dust can be controlled.
Seldovia Village Tribe – The purpose of this project was to continue road dust monitoring in Seldovia. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) also supported Seldovia’s air monitoring efforts by providing additional equipment. Two DustTrack II aerosol monitors, along with outdoor enclosures, were borrowed from ANTHC. Two high volume samplers were borrowed from ADEC. Seldovia compared the results from the two different monitors.
Native Village of Tyonek – The purpose of this project was to collect baseline air quality data prior to the start of mining in the Chuitna Coal Project. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) supported this project by providing monitoring equipment.

2014
Aleknagik Traditional Council – The purpose of this project was to create a video on simple steps they can take to make their home a healthier home.
https://youtu.be/MCsivijUdAk
Native Village of Eyak – The purpose of this project was to perform indoor air quality assessments on homes, provide healthy homes toolkits to new mothers, and to complete home upgrades on a select number of houses.
Qagan Tayagungin Tribe – The purpose of this project was to conduct road dust monitoring in dusty areas of town to get an idea of whether or not the dust levels are concerning. The Tribe also took soil samples and sent them to a lab for testing to determine if there was anything harmful in the soil.
Seldovia Village Tribe – The purpose of this project was to continue road dust monitoring using two different types of equipment to compare the results and try to determine why there are inconsistencies.
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe – The purpose of this project was to assess air quality concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at two locations in Yakutat before and after the installation and operation of two biomass boilers. This project also aimed to determine the source of smoke that is apparent near the school and subdivision in the winter months.

2015
Aleknagik Traditional Council – The purpose of this project was to produce a video on how to maintain your heat recovery ventilation system (HRV) for Yupik elders or homeowners that need education on their systems. To view the video mouse over the button below.
Click to Open Video
Chickaloon Village Traditional Council – The purpose of this project was to test indoor air quality in Tribal buildings and homes and develop healthy solutions to improve air quality. This project also provided indoor air quality tool kits to residents as well as a great deal of outreach and education.
Ruby Tribal Council – The purpose of this project was to measure the effectiveness of carbon monoxide (CO) education and training efforts on community residents by the use of pre and post questionnaires. Funds from this project were also used to purchase CO detectors for Tribal residents.
Seldovia Village Tribe – The purpose of this project was to 1) continue to collect particulate matter data from road dust with an emphasis on particle size, 2) compare particulate matter 10 (PM10) data between DustTrak aerosol monitors, and 3) determine road dust composition through soil sampling.

2016
Aleknagik Traditional Council – The purpose of this project was to create a video describing simple steps you can take to reduce exposure to wildfire smoke in rural Alaska.
https://youtu.be/rD85fT0weyM
Craig Tribal Association – The purpose of this project was to collect baseline data on radon in Tribal homes in Craig. The project also provided education and outreach to residents explaining what radon is, how it can affect your health, and steps that can be taken to remediate.
Klawock Cooperative Association – The purpose of this project was to distribute healthy homes toolkits to Tribal residents and educate them on steps they can take to improve the air inside their homes. This project measured the effectiveness of healthy homes education through pre- and post-outreach assessments.
Seldovia Village Tribe – The purpose of this project was to help Seldovia share the knowledge they have gained with other Tribes. This project allowed Seldovia to provide technical assistance to other Tribal communities working on road dust projects and to present at conferences.
Skagway Traditional Council – The purpose of this project was to measure levels of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, relative humidity, and particulate matter in 10 homes in Skagway and to inform residents about the health concerns of the target pollutants. Each participating home received a report summarizing the monitoring results and actions they can take to improve their indoor air quality.

2017
Hoonah Indian Association – The purpose of this project was to monitor particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide (CO) inside homes and document underlying drivers of indoor air quality issues. Participating homes received a brochure explaining the data collected from their homes and how they may improve their indoor air quality. Results of this study showed that stoves greater than 20 years old had significantly higher emissions of PM2.5 than houses with stoves less than 20 years old.
Nanwalek IRA Council – The purpose of this project was to collect baseline data on particulate matter from road dust. An outreach program was developed to inform residents about the health concerns of road dust and what they can do to minimize the dust that is kicked up into the air.
Wrangell Cooperative Association – The purpose of this project was to help people burn wood cleanly and efficiently. This project gathered baseline data to get a general idea of outdoor particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) levels.
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe – The purpose of this project was to gather information from community members on their wood use practices through an assessment. Data from the assessments were used to determine appropriate next steps to improve outdoor air quality and to educate community members on clean wood burning practices.

2018
Craig Tribal Association – The purpose of this project is to continue collecting baseline data for radon in Tribal homes in Craig. Project staff will educate Tribal members on radon by distributing EPA’s “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon” pamphlet. Steps to remediate radon inside the home will be discussed with residents residing in homes with high levels of radon.
Klawock Cooperative Association – The purpose of this project is to provide education and tools for residents battling bed bug infestations. Education will focus on using an integrated pest management approach to battling the bed bugs and the dangers associated with pesticide misuse.
Native Village of Nuiqsut – Recent weatherization assessments suggest many heating systems in Nuiqsut have abnormally high levels of carbon monoxide (CO). The purpose of this project is to place CO detectors in each household and gather data on peak ambient exposure levels in those households after a winter heating season has passed. Data collected will be compiled into a report to be shared with the community and other stakeholders.
Nunakauyak Traditional Council – The purpose of this project is to conduct healthy homes assessments to learn what the biggest indoor air quality concerns are and what outreach steps should be taken to address these concerns. Along with other locally donated items, Air Matters Toolkits will also be raffled out for participating residents.
Seldovia Village Tribe – The purpose of this project is to collect baseline data on radon levels in homes in Seldovia. Project staff will also carry out a public education campaign, sharing what they learn about radon levels in the Seldovia area and how people can mitigate radon in their homes.
Native Village of Teller – The purpose of this project is to address local air quality concerns through an Air Quality Awareness campaign and air quality assessments/surveys. This project will increase awareness and educate the community and youth on air quality challenges common in rural Alaska. As a community they will identify local challenges and determine strategies they can implement to reduce air pollution in Teller.

This workgroup was formed over a decade ago with the leadership of the National Tribal Air Association Alaska (NTAA) Representative of the ONC Tribe in Bethel due to a growing number of air concerns among Alaska Tribes. Since then, the group has continued to grow reaching tribes statewide. The workgroup is now hosted by the ANTHC Air Quality Program and led by the current NTAA elected representatives for Alaska, and supported by NTAA and EPA Region 10.
Calls are held once every quarter where agencies provide tribes with updates and resources, serves a platform for tribal individuals to communicate on a regular basis with agencies representatives, and provide quality webinar presentations on air quality topics. If you would like to join the workgroup, contact Mary Mullan or Ann Wyatt.
 
Resources:
National Tribal Air Association (NTAA)
ADEC Division of Air Quality
Tribal Healthy Homes Network
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP)
EPA Region 10 Tribal Air Resources List
IGAP Air Quality Work Plan Template
IGAP Climate Change Work Plan Template

ANTHC Air Program staff will assist Alaska Tribes in equipment training and technical assistance. Please note that if a Tribe is utilizing EPA IGAP funding to support an air monitoring project, a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) is required. For more information, contact the Air & Healthy Homes Program staff.
 
Indoor / Outdoor           
TSI DustTrak II Model 8530: Indoor or outdoor monitor that measures particulate matter (PM) one size fraction at a time such as dust, smoke, fumes and mists (Enclosure and stand included for outdoor use).
 
TSI DustTrak DRX Model 8533: Indoor or outdoor monitor that measures multiple particulate matter (PM) size fractions simultaneously such as dust, smoke, fumes and mists (Enclosure and stand included for outdoor use).

TSI DustTrak II/DRX Instrument Set-up
TSI DustTrak II/DRX Using the Survey, Manual Log, and Program Log Modes
TSI DustTrak II/DRX User Interface Screen Set-Up
TSI DustTrak II/DRX How to Manually Zero Instrument
TSI DustTrak II Using the Size Selective Inlet Conditioners
 
Indoor Air
TSI Q-Trak Model 7575: An indoor air quality monitor using certain probes that measures low concentration volatile organic compounds (VOCs), temperature, carbon dioxide (CO2), and humidity OR carbon monoxide (CO), carbon monoxide (CO2), temperature and humidity.
TEchRentals How to Use the TSI Q-Trak IAQ Monitor CO2, CO, Temperature and Humidity Logger
 
Fluke VT04A Visual Infrared (IR) Visual Thermometer: This device can identify hot and cold markers all while taking accurate temperature readings. This IR Thermometer can store images on a micro SD card.
Lennox Learning Solutions How To Use the Fluke VT04A Visual IR Thermometer
 
Carbon Monoxide Lascar Data Loggers: This data logger is a professional measuring device that is designed to record carbon monoxide (CO) gas levels for analysis (not an alarm/warning device).

Lascar Electronics Easy Log Data Logger Setup
DATAQ Introducing the EL-USB-CO Carbon Monoxide Level Data Logger
 
Other Resources:
Tribal Air Monitoring Support (TAMS) Center: The TAMS Center also has a variety of equipment loans and trainings related to air quality monitoring for tribes in the US.
 

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