Recent Developments in Indoor Air Quality Policy


ELI tracks policy developments nationwide related to indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools, homes, and other buildings. This page, updated occasionally throughout the year, highlights some of the notable recent developments in enacted IAQ laws and regulations around the country. The focus is at the state level, but significant federal and local policies may be included as well.

Indoor air quality is a broad subject, encompassing many different pollutant sources, activities, and building types. The following IAQ-related policies are only a sampling of recent developments. Other ELI materials provide and update more extensive listings of state IAQ policies on some issues – see our Database of State IAQ Laws for a broad collection of IAQ laws, our Topics in School Environmental Health resource for state laws on nine different school IAQ topics, and our Policy Briefs covering several evolving IAQ policy issues.



Maryland Establishes New Fund for Addressing Indoor Environmental Conditions in Schools

April 2024 - New legislation in Maryland (HB 1390) established a special, non-lapsing fund to address facility needs of the highest priority schools in the state. The funds are to be used only for issues listed in the law -- air conditioning, indoor air quality, mold remediation, temperature regulation, plumbing (including lead in drinking water), heating, window, and “any additional severe issues in the school that require the school to be closed." The law directs the governor, beginning in FY2027 and annually thereafter, to appropriate $70 million to the fund in the annual state operating or capital budget, and provides that money from the fund is supplemental to and does not replace funding that otherwise would be appropriated to schools.

Maine Expands Ban on PFAS in Products

April 2024 – The Maine legislature (S.P. 610 - L.D. 1537) expanded an existing law governing the use of PFAS in products by prohibiting, with certain exceptions, the sale and distribution within the state of additional products containing (or sold in a container that contains) intentionally added PFAS, including: cookware, cosmetics, dental floss, menstruation products, juvenile produces, textile, upholstered furniture, artificial turf, HVAC equipment, refrigerants, foams, and aerosol propellants.

Utah Legislature Restricts Condominium Rules that Bar Radon Mitigation

April 2024 - Utah passed a law (HB 104) that prohibits condominium associations from barring condo owners from making modifications, consistent with industry standards, for radon mitigation.  Condominium rules may require unit owners installing radon systems to provide proof that the modifications and any related construction will be performed by a licensed person. (See related ELI resources: Radon).

Washington State Appropriates Funds for School IAQ Improvement Grants

March 2024 - Washington legislators appropriated $45 million (SSB 5949) for grants to improve school indoor air quality and energy efficiency, with priority given to schools that lack HVAC systems, that have outdated or underperforming HVAC systems, that have documented IAQ performance issues, and that have the most limited financial capacity. Around one-third of the funding is for small school districts to conduct, with most of the remaining funds for other school districts for “assessment, installation, repair, or replacement of HVAC, air filtration enhancements, and general air quality improvements that improve student health and safety.” The law provides that facility assessments conducted with this funding must include professional cost estimates for mitigating the identified IAQ deficiencies identified and that the state must collect and summarize this  data for the state legislature. 

EPA Issues Stricter Air Quality Standard for Fine Particulate Matter

Feb. 2023 – EPA issued a final rule to strengthen the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), also known as soot. EPA lowered the level of the primary (health-based) annual PM2.5 standard from 12.0 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) to 9.0 µg/m3 “based on scientific evidence that shows the current standard does not protect public health with an adequate margin of safety, as required by the Clean Air Act (CAA).”  For most people who do not work outdoors, exposure to outdoor-generated PM2.5 occurs inside, homes, schools, workplaces, and other buildings.  (See related ELI resources: Particulate Matter).

Pennsylvania Establishes New School Environmental Repairs Grant Program

Dec. 2023 - New legislation in Pennsylvania (HB 301) establishes the School Environmental Repairs Program to provide grants to schools for projects to abate or remediate environmental hazards such as lead in water, asbestos, and mold. The Department of Education may award grants that cover up to 50 percent of the cost of the eligible project, up to a maximum grant of $10 million.

Michigan Creates New Healthy Schools Grant Program

Oct. 2023 - A new Michigan law (S.B. 173, sec. 12a) requires the state Department of Education to create a healthy schools grant program  to fund the following activities at school facilities: IAQ improvements (including HVAC and air-conditioning needs), energy enhancements, toxin remediation, and drinking water system upgrades.  The agency must prioritize applicants from NAAQS nonattainment zones, high asthma burden areas, environmental justice areas, small area income and poverty estimates (SAIPE) program areas, rural areas, and communities with high free and reduced lunch participation rates. The legislature allocated $50 million for the program, and grantees must provide a 50% match. [See related ELI resources: School IAQ Publications]

Illinois Strengthens Radon Protections for Tenants

July 2023 - New legislation in Illinois (2023 IL HB 2217) amends existing law to require that, before a lease is signed and upon request during a tenancy, a landlord provide tenants a state-approved radon pamphlet, any records indicating a radon hazard in the dwelling, and a radon warning statement as set forth in the legislation to be signed by the tenant and landlord. The legislation establishes the right of tenants to terminate the lease in certain situations if radon testing shows radon levels in excess of the state action level and the radon hazard is not mitigated. The new law also provides that the tenant may have radon mitigation performed only with the express consent of the lessor, and in such cases may deduct the cost of the installation from the tenant's rent.

Connecticut Strengthens State’s School IAQ Law

June 2023 - Connecticut has enacted legislation (Public Act 23-167) amending existing state laws relating to IAQ in schools.  Under the new law, schools must implement a uniform inspection and evaluation program of IAQ in school buildings annually, rather than every three years, and must use EPA’s IAQ Tools for Schools program in doing so. The requirement now applies to all schools, and results must be submitted to the Department of Administrative Services, using forms developed by the agency. Schools must also use agency forms to submit results of the separate five-year inspection and evaluation of the HVAC system of each school. Separately, the legislation directs the Department of Public Health to develop guidelines for an optimal thermal comfort range of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit for school buildings and facilities, with a larger optimal thermal comfort range allowed for gymnasiums and natatoriums. [See related ELI resources: School IAQ Publications]

Colorado Strengthens Radon Requirements in Sale and Lease of Residential Property

June 2023 - A new Colorado law (Co. SB 23-206) requires disclosure of known radon concentrations and information about prior testing and mitigation in connection with the sale of residential real property.  The law requires each contract for sale to include a specified statement that notes the health risks of indoor radon exposure and affirms the state health department recommendation to test for and mitigate high radon levels. The law requires that, before leasing property, residential tenants be provided (and acknowledge receipt in writing) a similar warning statement and written disclosure of known radon concentrations and prior radon testing and mitigation at the property. Under the new law, tenants are authorized to void a lease agreement and vacate the premises if the landlord fails to make the required disclosure or to make a reasonable effort to mitigate radon within 180 days after receiving notice that a radon measurement professional had determined the radon concentration in the unit to be 4 pCi/L or higher.

Washington State Creates Work Group to Address Carbon Monoxide Risks

May 2023 – New legislation (H.B. 1779, 2023-2024) requires the Washington Department of Health to convene an interagency carbon monoxide work group. The work group is directed to submit a report to the legislature and governor by December 1, 2024, with recommendations on “policy changes and other actions that could be taken to reduce carbon monoxide poisoning in Washington.” Among other items, the report is to address: preventing CO poisoning from sources outside the home; increasing CO awareness among the most at-risk populations; collecting data on CO poisoning incidents; and identifying sources of funding available for public awareness.

Washington State Enacts Legislation to Address Health and Safety Risks from Wildland Fires

May 2023 – Washington state has enacted legislation (2023 H.B. 1578) to improve community preparedness, response, and resilience to wildland fire health and safety impacts in areas of increasing population density.  The new law tasks the department of natural resources with coordinating across agencies to provide information on wildland fire smoke risks and to identify smoke respite areas; conducting community engagement and outreach, with an emphasis on reaching populations most vulnerable to smoke impacts; and leveraging programs such as weatherization to improve indoor air quality in homes.

Maryland Establishes Interagency Mold Workgroup

April 2023 - New legislation in Maryland (2023 Maryland Laws Ch. 347, H.B. 976) establishes an interagency Workgroup on Mold Standards and Remediation, chaired by the Department of the Environment. The law directs the Workgroup to review specified information related to mold standards and remediation practices and to study the extent to which climate change may increase indoor mold development. The Workgroup is required to recommend, by October 1, 2024, best practices for identifying mold, preventing indoor mold development, and remediating indoor mold conditions. [See related ELI resource: Database of State IAQ Laws]

Wisconsin Requires Radon Testing and Mitigation in Child Care Centers

March 2023 – The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has revised its child care licensing rules to require family and group child care centers to be tested for radon gas levels. If the levels exceed 4.0 pCi/L in the lowest level of a center that is used by children in care for at least 7 hours per week, a radon mitigation system must be installed and parents of children in care must be notified. After the initial tests, centers in residential buildings are required to test for radon every 2 years and centers in commercial buildings are required to test for radon every 5 years.  [See related ELI resource: Research Report]

Washington State Strengthens Building Code Requirements to Improve IAQ

Jan 2023 - Washington's Building Code Council revised the statewide building code (Wash. Admin. Code Ch. 51-52) to require MERV 13 filters in most occupancies and to require filtering of both indoor and outdoor air, effective July 2023. The revisions also include higher minimum airflow and capture efficiency standards for range hoods used with electric and combustion ranges. (Related ELI Resources: Research Reports.)

California Adopts COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Rules for Workplaces

December 2022 - The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved COVID-19 Prevention rules on a non-emergency basis, to remain in place until February, 2025 (8 CCR 3205 et seq.). The rules include indoor ventilation and filtration requirements for regular workplace operations and during COVID-19 outbreaks at workplaces. [Related ELI Resource: Research Report]

Montgomery County (Maryland) Requires All-Electric Construction 

Nov. 2022 – With the enactment of Bill 13-22, Montgomery County Maryland became the first county in the U.S. to require all-electric building construction, including electric kitchen stoves, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance healthier indoor air quality. The ordinance requires the county to issue all-electric building standards for new construction no later than January 1, 2025, with implementation phased in after that date. [Related ELI Resource: Research Report]

Delaware Establishes New School Indoor Air Quality Measures

Oct. 2022 – A new state law (2022 Delaware Laws Ch. 435 - S.B. 270) directs the Delaware Division of Public Health to “establish a routine indoor air quality monitoring program and standards that includes allowable ranges for temperature and humidity in public schools” and to establish reporting requirement for schools. The law also directs the agency to “establish a contractor certification program for public school indoor air quality services” and requires schools to establish a procedure for receiving IAQ complaints and to investigate such complaints.

California Law Strengthens Ventilation Requirements for Schools

September 2022 - A new California law (2022 California Assembly Bill 2232) requires existing schools to meet new minimum ventilation and filtration standards if feasible. If a school is unable to meet the ventilation standards, this must be documented in annual inspections.

Colorado Law Prohibits PFAS Chemicals in a Wide Range of Products

June 2022 - According to a new Colorado law (Co. HB 22-1345), beginning in 2024 it will be unlawful to sell or distribute in the state food packaging, juvenile products (as defined), carpets, fabric treatment, and oil and gas products that contain intentionally-added PFAS chemicals. Beginning in 2025 the ban includes cosmetics and certain indoor furnishings, and in 2025 is extended to certain outdoor furnishings. The law requires that manufacturers of certain cookware list the presence of PFAS chemicals and include a warning statement. The law also restricts PFAS in certain firefighting foams.

Rhode Island Bans PFAS Chemicals in Food Packaging

June 2022 - A new Rhode Island law (2022 S2024) bans the sale or distribution of food packaging that contains intentionally-added PFAS chemicals, effective January 1, 2024.  The law further provides that any substitute material may not be used in a quantity or manner that creates a hazard as great or greater than that posed by the regulated PFAS chemicals.

​Iowa Law Requires Radon Testing in Schools

May 2022 – A new Iowa Law (HF 2412) requires public schools to test for radon by July 1, 2027, and every five years thereafter. Testing must be carried out by state-certified professionals (or by school employees that have completed a training program approved by the state) in accordance with national standards. If elevated radon levels are found, schools must implement a radon mitigation plan within two years.  (Related ELI materials: Topics in School Environmental Health)

White House Launches Clean Air in Buildings Challenge

March 2022 - Building on the National COVID Preparedness Plan, the White House launched the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge, calling on building owners and operators and other leaders "to assess their indoor air quality and make ventilation and air filtration improvements to help keep occupants safe."  According to the White House, the initiative will: support governments and school districts in making ventilation improvements and using American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds; build public awareness around ventilation and filtration improvements; foster ways to recognize steps taken by buildings to improve indoor air quality; and catalyze science and technology innovation to reduce indoor disease transmission. As part of the Challenge, EPA has published a new best practices guide.

New Oregon Law Addresses the Provision of Air Conditioning in Housing

March 2022 - Oregon has enacted SB 1536, requiring the state Health Authority to procure air conditioners and air filters for distribution to residents eligible for medical assistance benefits. The law also requires landlords to  provide adequate cooling facilities in dwelling units in buildings  that received a building permit for construction on or after April 1, 2024. 

​HUD Issues Notice Implementing Requirement for CO Alarms in Federally-Assisted Housing

Jan. 2022 - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has published a Notice detailing requirements for the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in dwelling units in public housing and properties that receive federal rental assistance.  The Notice implements a federal law (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021) that requires CO alarms in these properties.  All Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Project Based Voucher, Project Based Rental Assistance, Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities must comply with the International Fire Code (IFC) 2018 standards on the installation of CO alarms or detectors by December 27, 2022. 

California Bans PFAS in Food Packaging and Requires Disclosure of Added Chemicals in Cookware

Oct. 2021 - A new California law (Cal. AB-1200) prohibits, beginning in 2023, the sale or distribution in the state of any food packaging that contains PFAS that is intentionally added or is present at specified levels, and requires manufacturers to use the least toxic alternative when replacing PFAS to comply with the law. The law also requires, beginning in 2024, that manufacturers of cookware sold in the state that contains one or more added chemicals as defined in the law, to include on the product label a list of those chemicals and a statement on how a consumer can obtain more information. (Related ELI Resource: Indoor Environments Blog)

New Jersey Creates New Program to Upgrade School and Commercial HVAC Systems

August 2021 - The New Jersey legislature (S.B. 3995) has established the School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program fund within the state the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), to be supported with state and federal (American Rescue Plan) monies. The purpose of the program is to “ensure that school and small business ......(HVAC) systems are upgraded to safely prepare schools and small businesses for operating during the coronavirus 2019 pandemic, to improve the general health and safety of the school and small business environment, and to create jobs across the State.” Seventy-five percent of funded projects are to be located in underserved communities.

New Maine Law Regulates the Sale of PFAS-Containing Products

July 2021 - A new Maine law (H.P. 1113 - L.D. 1503) prohibits, as of January 1, 2023, the sale or distribution for sale in the state of new carpet, rugs, or fabric treatments that contain intentionally added PFAS. The law authorizes the state environmental agency to promulgate rules identifying other products by category or use that may not be sold or distributed if they contain intentionally added PFAS. Effective January 1, 2030, the law prohibits the sale of any product that contains intentionally added PFAS, unless the agency has determined by rule that the use of PFAS in the product is a currently unavoidable use. Under the law, the sale of a product containing intentionally added PFAS is prohibited if the manufacturer has failed to submit to the state information about the product as required under the law. The law authorizes the environmental agency to develop a program encouraging the use of safer alternatives and the proper management of materials containing PFAS.

Oregon’s Comprehensive Wildfire Law Includes Grants for Air Filters and Cleaner Air Shelters

July 2021 - Oregon has enacted comprehensive wildfire preparedness legislation (SB 762). One of many programs established by the law is a new grants program for the purchase of portable air cleaners and filters, with priority given to homes occupied by those who have low incomes or who are vulnerable to the health effects of wildfire smoke. The legislation also establishes a grant program to establish cleaner air shelters. (Related ELI Resource: Research Report)

New Oregon Healthy Homes Program to Provide Grants for Repairs

July 2021 – Oregon legislation (HB 2842) has established a Healthy Homes Program to be funded by a new Healthy Homes Repair Fund, with $10,000,000 appropriated for the biennium beginning July 1, 2021. The program is to provide housing repair and rehabilitation grants to entities that serve low income households and to landlords of low income housing units. Entities receiving grants must serve or represent communities with high concentrations of low income households or communities “impacted by environmental justice factors.” The Program may develop methods for evaluating, preventing and reducing health hazards in housing, as well as recommendations for incorporating healthy housing into housing codes. The legislation also creates an Interagency Task Force on Healthy Homes to undertake specified activities and report to the legislature.

 Rhode Island to Undertake Healthy Housing Assessment

July 2021 - Rhode Island has enacted legislation (H. 6122) directing the state Department of Commerce to develop an integrated housing report with findings and recommendations that include, among other things, a “reporting of municipal healthy housing stock” and an assessment of the state's existing housing stock that enumerates risks from lead, mold, safe drinking water, disease vectors and other conditions that impact health.

 Minnesota Legislature Authorizes State Medicaid to Cover HEPA Air Cleaners, Furnace filters, IPM, and Other Products for Asthma Care.

June 2021 - Minnesota has enacted legislation (H.F. No. 33) amends existing law to authorize Minnesota’s Medicaid program to cover “enhanced asthma care services,” defined to include home visits as well as allergen-reducing products listed in the law, including HEPA single-room air cleaners/filters, furnace filters, dehumidifiers/filters, and integrated pest management. The amendments are effective January 1, 2022 or upon federal approval, whichever is later. (Related ELI Resource: Research Report)

Connecticut Law Establishes New Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program for Affordable Housing

June 2021 - A new Connecticut law (Public Act 21-48, S.B. 356) directs the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to establish an energy efficiency retrofit grant program using available federal or other funds. Program grants will fund energy efficiency upgrades for affordable housing and other rental dwellings, with priority given to applicants serving those with low incomes. The legislation authorizes grant funding to be used to install heat pumps and balanced ventilation and to mitigate health and safety hazards (such as radon, mold, asbestos, and lead) in certain cases. (Related ELI Resource: Research Report)

Colorado Requires Licensing of Radon Professionals

June 2021 – A new Colorado law (H.B. 21-1195), effective July 2022, requires those who test for or mitigate radon to obtain a state license and to comply with applicable ANSI/AARST protocols or other state-approved national consensus standards. The law exempts from licensing those who perform radon testing or mitigation on a single-family home they own and occupy. (Related ELI Resource: Research Report)

Vermont Requires School Radon Testing, Inventory of School Facilities, and Updating of School Construction Standards to Address IAQ and Other Issues

June 2021 – The Vermont legislature recently enacted a bill (H. 426, 2021 Vermont Laws No. 72) requiring, by June 2023, that all public and independent schools conduct radon testing in any school that has not been tested in the past five years. Testing must be done in accordance with ANSI/AARST protocols. More broadly, the bill aims to “create better learning environments for Vermont’s students and increase the equity in the quality of education around the State.”  Toward this end, the bill requires the state to conduct a school facilities inventory and conditions assessment that includes “building systems' condition and performance to address the health and safety of students and employees, including energy efficiency improvements and indoor air quality” and to create a database to enter information from the assessment. the bill also directs the state education agency to update its school construction facilities standards to reflect, among other things, “requirements for healthy and resource efficient school facilities, including natural light, indoor air quality, and water and energy efficiency.”  (Related ELI Resource: Topics in School Environmental Health)

Maryland Legislature Makes Loans Available for Indoor Air Remediation Projects

May 2021 - The Maryland legislature has expanded a state clean energy loan program to allow loans to finance or refinance environmental remediation projects. The legislation (House Bill 517) defines such projects to include those that “promote indoor air and water quality,” as well as those that involve mold or asbestos remediation or lead paint removal.

Vermont Legislature Appropriates American Rescue Plan Funding for School IAQ

April 2021 – A new state law (H. 315, Act 9) appropriates $15 million from the American Rescue Plan to support the state’s School Indoor Air Quality Grant Program, established in 2020. The program provides grants to K-12 schools to repair, maintain, and upgrade HVAC systems consistent with ASHRAE and CDC COVID-19 guidelines. The law allows the state to make grants directly to schools or to work with Efficiency Vermont to distribute the funds to schools.

New Iowa Program to Assist Child Care Reopening Provides Funds for IAQ-Related Facility Improvements

April 2021 – A new program at the Iowa Department of Human Services to support child care reopening is making funding available to address facility health and safety needs. Supported by the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, the Investing in Iowa Child Care program provides funds for start-up and expansion, as well as “urgent regulatory funding” – a category that covers health and safety measures such as radon testing/mitigation and lead paint removal/abatement. (Related ELI Materials: Research Report)

Massachusetts Bans Flame Retardants in Children’s Products and Other Household Items

Jan. 2021 – A new law in Massachusetts (H. 4900) bans the manufacture or retail sale of children's products, bedding, carpeting, residential upholstered furniture or window treatments containing specified chemical flame retardants, as of December 31, 2021. The law also establishes a process for determining in the future whether additional flame retardants should be prohibited.

New York State Bans Food Packaging Containing PFAS Substances

December 2020 – New York State has enacted legislation (S.B. 8817) amending its existing hazardous packaging law to prohibit the distribution and sale within the state of food packaging containing PFAS substances as intentionally-added chemicals. The measure takes effect December 31, 2022. In addition, the Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation, enacted in 19 states including New York, was updated in February 2021 to add PFAS substances (and ortho-phthalates) as regulated chemicals, prohibiting sale or distribution of a package or packaging components containing PFAS.

California Law Requires Disclosure of Fragrance Ingredients in Cosmetics

October 2020 - A new law in California (S.B. 312) makes the state the first to require cosmetic product manufacturers, starting in January 2022, to provide a list of each fragrance ingredient or flavor ingredient if the ingredient appears on any of several chemical listings specified in the law.  Manufacturers must also disclosure each fragrance allergen that is present in the cosmetic product in specified concentrations. The disclosure must be made to the Department of Public Health, which must include the disclosed ingredients and their associated hazards in the state’s existing database of cosmetic product information.

California Passes Law Establishing Grant Program to Improve School HVAC Systems 

September 2020 – A new California law (A.B. 841) requires the state Energy Commission, in collaboration with large utilities, to develop and administer the School Reopening Ventilation and Energy Efficiency Verification and Repair Program to award grants to local educational agencies "to reopen schools with functional ventilation systems that are tested, adjusted, and, if necessary or cost effective, repaired, upgraded, or replaced to increase efficiency and performance."  Schools receiving a grant must comply with the law’s detailed requirements for HVAC assessment, repairs and upgrades, including ventilation rates in accordance with the state building code and MERV 13 filtration or higher where feasible. The grant programs, to be funded through specific allocations in the energy efficiency budgets of the utilities, must prioritize underserved communities, as well as schools located within 500 feet of a busy traffic corridor or within 1,000 feet of certain polluting facilities.

Vermont Law Establishes School HVAC Upgrade Program to Address COVID-19

June 2020 – In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Vermont legislature has appropriated $6.5 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to fund the newly established School Indoor Air Quality Grant Program (2020 Vt. Laws No. 120, H. 961.)  The program, administered through Efficiency Vermont, will provide grants to K-12 schools to repair, maintain, and upgrade HVAC systems consistent with ASHRAE and CDC COVID-19 guidelines.

Maryland Prohibits Sale of Products Containing Flame-Retardant Chemicals

May 2020 - Maryland has enacted legislation (Sen. Bill 0447) prohibiting the sale or importation of any children’s product, mattress, or upholstered furniture containing more than 0.1% of flame-retardant chemicals. The law authorizes civil penalties for willful violations.

Virginia Requires Legionella Water Management Programs in Schools

April 2020 - Virginia has enacted an education law (2020 Virginia Laws Ch. 776 (S.B. 410)) requiring school boards to maintain a water management program for the prevention of Legionnaire’s disease at each public school building. Schools boards must validate the program at least annually, and schools are required to maintain and make available for review the results of all validation and remediation activities. (Related ELI Resource: Policy Brief)

New York City Expands Legal Framework for Lead Poisoning Preventing

February 2020 - New York City adopted new laws strengthening the existing requirements for preventing lead poisoning in schools and rental dwellings. One law (Int 0873-2018) expands the requirements for regular surveys and inspections of schools for lead-based paint hazards and madates delivery of results to parents and guardians. The law also addresses lead in rental housing, bolstering enforcement where landlords fail to take certain required actions to address lead-based paint hazards before new tenants move in. Another law (Int 0891-2018) expands the applicability of the lead paint provisions in the city housing maintenance code to one- and two-family homes. (Related ELI Resource: Tenants' Guide)

New York Establishes Framework for Regulating Chemicals in Children’s Products

February 2020 – A new law enacted by the New York State legislature (N.Y. Senate Bill 501-B (2019 Session)) establishes a program requiring manufacturers to disclose the use of certain chemicals in children’s products, banning the use of certain chemicals by 2023, and creating a framework under which additional “dangerous chemicals” and “chemicals of concern” may be identified and prohibited from use in the future. (Related ELI Resource: Policy Brief)

Montana Health Regulations Strengthen Indoor Air Quality Practices in Schools

January 2020 - Montana's health agency has adopted regulations (Mt. Admin. Rules 37.111.826-827) calling on schools to conduct annual inspections of school ventilation systems and of school IAQ generally, using EPA's IAQ Tools for Schools checklist. The regulations also address the growing problem of wildfire smoke episodes by requiring enhanced air filtration in schools and directing schools to have a protocol in place for limiting infiltration of outside air during poor air quality conditions. (Related ELI Resource: Topics in School Env. Health)

Iowa City, Iowa Requires Radon Testing and Mitigation in Rental Homes

December 2019 - Iowa City has enacted an ordinance (Ord. No. 19-4816) revising its minimum standards for rental housing to include a requirement that all single-family and duplex rental units be tested for radon and retested every eight years.  If the test results are 4 pCi/L or higher, a mitigation system must be installed within 90 days. Mitigation systems must “function safely and shall be maintained in proper working condition.”  The requirements apply to new rental housing permits and permit renewals issued on or after July 1, 2020. (Related ELI Resources: Policy Brief)

New York Prohibits Installation of Mercury-Containing Floors in Schools

November 2019 - New York has amended the state environmental code to address the problem of school gym floors that contain mercury. The new legislation (A.7986) prohibits any elementary or secondary school in the state from installing a mercury-containing floor or installing a floor over a mercury-containing floor without first removing the mercury-containing floor. The law also sets a time-weighted average mercury vapor exposure limit of 750 nanograms per cubic meter for employees or students. The law applies to gym floor installations after Jan. 1, 2021.

California to Create a Network of Wildfire Smoke Clean Air Centers for Vulnerable Residents

October 2019 - California has enacted a new law (A.B. 836) establishing the Wildfire Smoke Clean Air Centers for Vulnerable Populations Incentive Pilot Program to “provide funding through a grant program to retrofit ventilation systems to create a network of clean air centers in order to mitigate the adverse public health impacts due to wildfires and other smoke events.” The program, administered by the California Air Resources Board, will create a network of clean air centers at schools, community centers, libraries and other public buildings. The law prioritizes projects located in areas with documented high cumulative smoke exposure burdens and requires that program guidelines and eligibility criteria consider vulnerable populations (including communities with diverse racial and ethnic populations and communities with low-income communities) and the location of clean air facilities relative to those populations. (Related ELI Resources: Research Reports)

Washington State Strengthens its Policy Framework for Regulating Priority Chemicals

July 2019 - Washington State enacted a new public health and safety law that establishes a framework for the state’s Department of Ecology to identify, evaluate, and regulate “priority chemicals” and “priority consumer products that are a significant source or use of priority chemicals.” (2019 Wash. Legis. Serv. Ch. 292 (S.S.B. 5135). Among other factors, the Department must consider whether a chemical or product  is “a concern for sensitive populations” when making its determination. The law requires the Department to identify priority consumer products by 2020; to determine regulatory actions for those products, which may include restricting or prohibiting their manufacture, distribution, sale, and/or use, by 2022; and to adopt rules to implement such actions by 2023. (Related ELI Resources: Policy Brief)

Nevada to Require IPM in Schools

June 2019 - Nevada passed legislation requiring establishment of “an integrated pest management policy for controlling pests and weeds on the property of a school district.” The policy must include, among other things, written guidelines for determining when specific measures should be taken to control pests and weeds; these guidelines must prioritize the use of preventive measures; require the use of nonchemical pest or weed management before using pesticides or herbicides; and require any use of pesticides or herbicides to be carried out in a manner that creates the lowest possible risk to health and safety. The law also requires the appointment of a chief IPM coordinator in each school district and requires certain employees of a school district to be certified in IPM (if the certification is available at no additional cost to the school district). (Related ELI Resource: Topics in School Env. Health)

Colorado Increases Habitability Protections for Tenants

May 2019 -- Colorado approved amendments to its residential landlord-tenant law (HB19-1170) to provide protections against mold and dampness conditions that “would materially interfere with the life, health, or safety of a tenant.” Within 96 hours of receiving notice of such conditions, a landlord must install a containment to stop active sources of water contributing to the mold, as well as install a high-efficiency particulate air filtration device to reduce tenants’ exposure; the law also requires the landlord to perform certain remedial actions “within a reasonable amount of time” and to provide the tenant with a comparable dwelling or hotel room upon request. (Related ELI Resources: Policy Brief)


Delaware's New Child Care Rules Address Radon and Other Indoor Exposures

April 2019 – Delaware’s revised child care licensing rules (9 DE ADC 101-1.0, 103-1.0) add important environmental health protections for children and staff. The new rules establish radon testing and mitigation requirements, as well as requirements for indoor air sampling if a child care facility is co-located with a dry cleaner, nail salon, or other use that may result in unacceptable indoor air quality. The rule also strengthens existing provisions for monitoring and addressing lead-based paint hazards. (Related ELI Resources: Research Reports)


Illinois Strengthens Rules Addressing Lead Poisoning

February 2019 - With the adoption of new health rules (77 Ill. Adm. Code 845.55), Illinois joins a growing number of states that have strengthened their definition of  Elevated Blood Lead Level to mean a blood lead level greater than or equal to 5 μg/dL, the current CDC reference level. The rules also revise the actions required upon finding that a person has an elevated blood lead level, which include lead inspections, lead risk assessments, and any necessary follow-up in homes, schools and childcare facilities. (Related ELI Resource: Research Report.)


Oregon Adopts Integrated Pest Management Licensing Category

January 2019 - Oregon Dept. of Agriculture regulations (Or. Admin. Code 603-057-0110) now provide for an optional School Integrated Pest Management license category, aimed at strengthening compliance with the state’s School IPM Law. To earn the license, individuals must demonstrate knowledge of IPM strategies and of the increased risks posed by pesticides to children. They must also have knowledge of the state IPM law, which among other things restricts the application of pesticides when students are present and requires that schools have an IPM Plan and IPM Coordinator. (Related ELI Resource: Topics in School Env. Health.)


Minnesota Adopts New Rules for Radon Professionals

December 2018 - Minnesota finalized rules establishing licensing requirements and work practices to ensure radon measurement and radon mitigation are performed in a manner that minimizes the public's exposure to radon gas. The rules, which implement a 2017 law, take effect January 1, 2019; however, the portion of the regulations that require licensing for residential mitigation activities are on hold pending resolution of a legal challenge. (Related ELI Resource: Research Report.)


California Law Helps Schools Improve Air Filtration

Sept. 2018 -- New legislation in California (Cal. Assembly Bill No. 2453) establishes that state school modernization funds may be used “to limit pupil exposure to harmful air pollutants by updating air filtration systems” and encourages school districts to add air filtration systems to applications for modernization apportionments “when air pollution occasionally or regularly exceed levels known to be harmful to public health.” Schools in communities with “high cumulative exposure burdens” are eligible for certain state grants to implement air quality mitigation efforts, including air filter upgrades and installations, provided that funds are appropriated for the grants.


Rhode Island Establishes Stricter IAQ Standards for Ice Arenas

July 2018 - As of July 1, 2018, ice arenas in Rhode Island must comply with an air quality standard for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), in addition to a standard for carbon monoxide (CO). The NO2 standard (0.5 ppm) is established by a June 2018 update to the state regulations governing indoor air quality in ice arenas. The amendment to the regulations also lowers the existing CO standard (from 35 to 30 ppm) and clarifies corrective action and maintenance requirements, among other changes.


Connecticut Establishes New Healthy Homes Fund

 June 2018 - Connecticut enacted a law (P.A. 18-160) establishing a Healthy Homes Fund, which will be used by the state Department of Housing to fund a program “to reduce health and safety hazards in residential dwellings in Connecticut, including, but not limited to, lead, radon and other contaminants or conditions, through removal, remediation, abatement and other appropriate methods.” The Healthy Homes Fund will be funded with remittances from a new surcharge on homeowner’s insurance policies, established in the same legislation, which will take effect on January 1, 2019.



New York to Require Cleaning Product Manufacturers to Disclose Ingredients

June 2018 - The N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued a new policy detailing requirements for manufacturers of household cleaning products to disclose information to DEC about intentionally-added ingredients in the  products, including fragrances, byproducts, and impurities. Companies must also post the information on their website, along with: a description of information being withheld as confidential business information; studies the company has conducted on  health and environmental effects of the products; and a toll-free number for consumers to get more information. The disclosure requirements – with effective dates ranging from July 1, 2019 to January 1, 2023 – implement long-standing state law and regulations that direct manufacturers of cleaning products to submit ingredient information about their products as required by the DEC. N.Y. Envl. Conservation Law 35-0107; 6 N.Y. Code Rules & Regs. 659.6. 


Maryland Establishes Healthy School Facility Fund

May 2018 - Maryland enacted a law (Md. Educ. Code § 5-322) establishing a Healthy School Facility Fund. The purpose of the fund is “to provide grants to public primary and secondary schools in the State to improve the health of school facilities.” The law directs the Governor to appropriate at least $30 million to the fund in each of fiscal years 2020 and 2021. Priority in awarding grants from the fund will be based on severity of issues in schools, including but not limited to indoor air quality and mold remediation.


California to Require Increased Filtration in New Home Ventilation Systems

May 2018 – The California Energy Commission approved the state's 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, to take effect January 1, 2020. While the new standards made headlines for requiring solar photovoltaic systems for new homes, they are also noteworthy for an indoor air quality first -- a requirement that ventilation systems in both high rise and low rise residential buildings have air filters with a minimum MERV 13 efficiency rating. 2019 Standards, Title 24 Cal. Code Regs., Part 6, Sections 120.1(b), 150.0(m).


U.S. EPA Formaldehyde Rule to Take Effect June 1, 2018

March 2018 - A federal District Court rejected a U.S. EPA rule that sought to delay compliance deadlines for the agency’s new national formaldehyde emissions standards until December 2018.  In March, the Court set a June 1, 2018 compliance deadline for the EPA formaldehyde rule, which implements a 2010 law requiring EPA to adopt standards for composite wood products aligned with those already adopted by California.


New York City Requires Landlords to Address Mold and Pest Infestation

January 2018 - New York City enacted the Asthma Free Housing Act (2018/055) amending the city’s housing maintenance code to require private landlords to prevent and remediate indoor allergen hazards, including mold and pest infestation. Among other things, the law requires use of IPM practices and specified mold remediation practices. The law also directs the city to incorporate mold and pest infestation in its housing code inspections, train enforcement staff, and establish procedures for implementing the law. (Related ELI Resources: Policy Brief; Research Report.)


Colorado Launches Program to Help Low Income Families Reduce Radon Levels

November 2017 – Colorado published guidance for its new Low Income Radon Mitigation Assistance Program.  A 2016 state law (Co. Rev. Stat. §25-11-114) created the program, to be funded by the state hazardous substance response fund. Agency rules (6 Co. Code Regs. 1007-1 Part 21) set eligibility criteria, application procedures, and contractor qualifications for receiving funding for radon mitigation system installation and post-installation testing in owner-occupied homes.


California to Require Chemical Ingredient Disclosure for Cleaning Products

October 2017 – California enacted the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act requiring manufacturers of specified types of cleaning products sold in the state to disclose certain chemicals used in the products, and requiring employers to provide that information to their employees. The law lists the information that must be disclosed, both on the product label (by 2021) and the product website (by 2020). (Related ELI Resources: Policy Brief, Topics in School Env. Health.)


California Directs Funding to New Woodsmoke Reduction Program

October 2017 – California enacted a law (Ca. SB 563) establishing a Woodsmoke Reduction Program to incentivize voluntary replacement of old, uncertified wood-burning stoves with cleaner burning, more efficient models. Funding will be provided based in part on the location of the home and household income. Funded through the state Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, the program aims to distribute 75% of its funding to households in disadvantaged and low-income communities.


Rhode Island and Maine Ban Flame Retardants in Residential Furniture 

October 2017 – Rhode Island enacted a law (R.I. Pub. Law 2017, ch 380) prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or distribution of any residential upholstered furniture and bedding that contains 100 ppm or greater of any organohalogen flame-retardant chemical. The ban takes effect July 1, 2019, and manufacturers must notify sellers in the state about the ban prior to that date. The law directs the state health agency to enforce the ban and establishes civil penalties for violations.


August 2017 – Maine also enacted a law (38 Me. Rev. Stat. §1609-A) prohibiting the sale or distribution of new residential upholstered furniture made with materials containing more than 0.1% of a flame-retardant chemical or a mixture including a flame-retardant chemical. The prohibition takes effect January 1, 2019, with a sell-through provision. The state is required to develop regulations to implement the law.


Oregon Requires Schools to Adopt Plans for Addressing Environmental Hazards

August  2017 – Oregon amended its Education Code to require schools to adopt a Healthy and Safe Schools Plan to address, at a minimum, lead, radon, asbestos, IPM, and CO. The law (Or. SB 1062) requires the state to develop a model plan, plus information on substances that may pose health risks. Creates a Healthy Schools Facilities Fund to assist schools financially in implementing the plan. The law builds on a state education rule that initially directed schools to develop the plans. (Related ELI Resources: Topics in School Env. Health.)


Delaware to Provide Information to Help Schools Improve IEQ

July 2017 – Noting recent concerns over school IEQ, the Delaware legislature acted to require the creation of a Healthy Schools Indoor Environment Portal on the state health agency website. The new education law (14 De. Code §§4301-4306) directs the state health and education agencies to collaborate with school districts to identify information and technical resources for improving IEQ, and directs schools to display publicly the contact information for the state Division of Public Health. (Related ELI Resources: Topics in School Env. Health.)


California Finalizes Rule Listing First Priority Product under Green Chemistry Law

July 2017 – The California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control finalized a rule (22 Cal. Code Regs. §69511) listing children's foam-padded sleeping products with TDCPP or TCEP flame retardants as a Priority Product and requiring manufacturers to submit a Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report. The rule follows a 2008 state law and subsequent regulations that set a framework for the state to identify, prioritize, evaluate and regulate chemicals of concern in consumer products. (Related ELI Resources: Policy Brief.)


New Jersey Requires CO Detectors in Existing Buildings

June 2017 – New Jersey‘s Fire Safety Code (N.J. Admin. Code § 5:70- 4.9) requires, as of September 3, 2017, the installation of carbon monoxide (CO) detection equipment in all existing buildings, including residential and educational facilities, that have fuel-burning appliances or attached garages. The code establishes criteria for the types of devices that may be used and standards for installation and maintenance. (Related ELI Resources: Topics in School Env’l. Health.)


Nebraska to Develop Standards for Radon Resistant Buildings

April 2017 - Nebraska enacted the Radon Resistant New Construction Act (LB9). The Act creates a special Task Force to develop minimum standards for radon resistant new construction by spring 2018. “New construction” is defined to include original construction of residential, commercial, industrial, medical, and educational buildings. The legislature intends to use the Task Force recommendations to set statewide standards in 2019. (Related ELI Resource: Policy Brief.)


Utah Joins NY in Requiring Existing Nail Salons to Have Improved Ventilation

March 2017 – Utah enacted a law adopting the 2015 International Mechanical Code (IMC), with amendments to the IMC provisions governing ventilation in nail salons. The law (Ut. Code §15A-3-402) includes a modified source capture system requirement for all new and existing nail salon manicure stations that file or shape acrylic nails. Existing salons must comply by July 2020. (Related ELI Resource: Policy Brief.)


HUD Requires Smoke Free Policies in Public Housing

February 2017 – HUD’s final rule took effect, requiring all Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to implement a smoke-free policy by July 31, 2018. The rule applies to all public housing units, interior areas, and outdoor areas within 25 feet of the housing. HUD also published a Guidebook to provide PHAs a roadmap for adopting a smoke-free policy. (Related ELI Resource: Policy Brief.)


D.C. Government to Assess Public Buildings for Environmental Risk

January 2017 – The District of Columbia enacted the Healthy Public Buildings Assessment Act (DC Law 21-237). The law requires the D.C. Dept. of General Services to assess D.C.-owned buildings (including schools) for at least the following potential IAQ risks: mold, ventilation, lead, asbestos, CO, and radon. The agency must set inspection and remediation protocols and post online the results of assessments and remediation activities. (Related ELI Resource: Topics in School Env’l. Health.)