MSU Extension will be hosting a healthy homes workshop titled “Love Your Home.” The class will provide residents information on indoor air quality in their homes as well as methods to mitigate issues. The workshop will concentrate on concerns about indoor air quality in homes during the winter months.

Barbara Allen, MSU Extension Housing Specialist (Photo: MSU/Kelly Gorham)

MSU Extension Housing Specialist Barb Allen will teach in Fairfield, Shelby and Fort Benton on February 15 and 16. The first presentation will be in Fairfield on February 15 at 1:00 pm at the Senior Citizen Center.  The next session of Love Your Home will be in Shelby, also on February 15, at 6:30 pm at the Marias River Electric Conference Room. On February 16, Fort Benton will host the workshop at the Wake Cup Coffee House at 1:00 p.m.

According to Allen, “We usually think of air pollution outside, but indoor air pollution is a concern, especially considering how much Montanans are indoors in the winter months.  There are concerns about radon, carbon dioxide and molds affecting indoor air quality.”

Radon is a radioactive gas that is odorless, tasteless and invisible. It occurs naturally in soils and rocks, and enters houses through the foundation or through well water. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Montana is considered a high risk state for radon.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas produced when any carbon-based fuel is burned. Most carbon monoxide produced in the home comes from combustion for fuel for heating and cooking. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. Nearly 5000 people a year are treated in emergency rooms in the United States for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result in death.

Biological concerns such as mold, mildew and bacteria can also lead to air quality issues in the home. Some types of mold have been linked to health effects for some people.

The Love Your Home workshops will be a useful tool for residents to learn about and address indoor air quality concerns. Please contact your local extension office by February 10 to register for the free classes.  MSU Extension hopes to help you Love Your Home and to make sure your home is loving you back!

Teton County Extension Office    406-466-2491,

Toole County Extension Office   406-424-8350,

Chouteau County Extension Office 406-622-3751,