Air Quality

First District Health Unit (FDHU) offers limited air quality inspections of  residential & public buildings:

Visual/olfactory inspections:


Nuisance odors


Limited air testing:


Carbon Monoxide


Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)


FDHU has no capability to conduct mold testing.  If you require mold testing, you will need to contact an environmental contractor or testing company on the List of Environmental Contractors.  This list may not be exhaustive and is provided for your convenience only.

Description of Air Quality contaminants:


Ammonia – has a sharp, penetrating odor.   Ammonia is a toxic and corrosive gas that seeks out moisture. If breathed in, it can damage the lungs and cause respiratory problems. In severe cases it can cause death. It is used in industry for plastics and explosives and as a fertilizer in agriculture.


Carbon Monoxide – is a colorless, practically odorless, and tasteless gas or liquid. It results from incomplete oxidation of carbon in combustion. It can be produced by natural gas or propane appliances and internal combustion engines (automobile). At low concentrations it produces fatigue in healthy people and chest pain in people with heart disease; at higher concentrations, impaired vision and coordination, headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nausea. It can cause flu-like symptoms that clear up after leaving the contaminated area. Carbon monoxide is fatal at very high concentrations.


Formaldehyde – is a colorless, strong-smelling gas. It is used as a preservative in medical laboratories and mortuaries. It is found in other products such as chemicals, particleboard, household products, glues, permanent press fabrics, paper product coatings, fiberboard, and plywood. It is also widely used as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant. Exposure can irritate eyes, nose, and throat and can cause coughing and wheezing. Subsequent exposure may cause severe allergic reactions of the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.


Hydrogen sulfide – is a colorless flammable gas under normal conditions. One common name is sewer gas. Exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas can occur in the home or in the workplace. In the home, exposure may occur because of faulty plumbing. Sewer drains that have dry traps can allow hydrogen sulfide gas to enter the home. Exposure to low concentrations can cause eye irritation, a sore throat and cough, shortness of breath and fluid in the lungs. These symptoms usually go away in a few weeks after exposure ends. Long-term, low- level exposure may result in fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory and dizziness.


Radon – is a colorless, tasteless, odorless, radioactive gas that is found in soil and rocks. When it accumulates in a home or structure it can be a health hazard. North Dakota is a state which has potentially high radon levels. The only way to determine if there is a problem is to measure the radon level.


Molds – are respiratory irritants that are naturally present in the environment. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. The way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.


Nuisance Odors – onsite investigations will be made whenever other odors are reported.



For more information, contact us at 701-852-1376 or through our Contact page.

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