- Community & Veterans Services
- Community Health
- Environmental Health
Public health has a role in protecting against environmental health hazards by addressing aspects of the environment that pose risks to human health. This includes developing policies and programs to reduce exposure to environmental health risks, promoting health environments, and identifying and mitigating environmental risks such as food and waterborne diseases, radiation, occupational health hazards, and public health nuisances. In this section you will find information on:
- Public Health Nuisance
- Well Water
Mille Lacs County offers free guidance and education on reducing environmental hazards in the home.
To learn more:
- Visit the Minnesota Department of Health-Healthy Homes website
- Visit the National Center for Healthy Housing website
Protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. Effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected. The most important step parents, doctors, and others can take is to prevent lead exposure before it occurs. Mille Lacs County Community & Veteran Services can assist individuals and families in identifying possible sources of lead exposure and provide resources.
To learn more:
- Visit the Minnesota Department of Health – Lead website
Mold can cause fungal allergy and respiratory infections or worsen certain illnesses such as asthma. Molds are microorganisms that are found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. The potential health effects of exposure to indoor mold are of increasing concern. Nevertheless, no conclusive evidence exists that inhalation of indoor mold is associated with a multitude of other health problems, such as pulmonary hemorrhage, memory loss, and lack of energy.
Controlling moisture in your home is the best way to prevent mold problems. Try to maintain your home's relative humidity between 20-40% in the winter and less than 60% the rest of the year.
Mold in Rental Housing - What you can do as a tenant and what your options are in the owner refuses to help.
Check with your city to see if they have adopted property maintenance or rental housing codes.
Mille Lacs Public Health does not have authority to provide direct services, such as inspections or testing, for mold problems.
Repair Request Letter (PDF) – Tenant should keep a copy of the letter(s).
If a landlord fails to make repairs, the Attorney General’s publication “Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities” suggests a number of remedies, including filing a complaint with the local housing, health, or building inspector, if there is one. Tenants can contact their city or county to see what codes and inspection services may be available.
For more information on legal rights and action:
- Minnesota Attorney General's Office: Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities
- Home Line: A non-profit Minnesota statewide tenant advocacy organization
- Emergency Repair Problems (PDF)
- LawHelpMN.org - Legal Information for Tenants – search for legal aid in your area
- Get Help - Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid (mylegalaid.org)
Mille Lacs County Legal Advice/Assistance
If you would like to seek legal advice, there is a local attorney available at the Mille Lacs County Courthouse. Call (320) 983-8313 for office hours. Sign-up for this free service at the Mille Lacs County Justice Center Law Library.
No Cost Lawyers
Central Minnesota Legal Services-St. Cloud Housing Law
General phone: (320) 253-0138
Intake: (320) 253-0121 or (888) 360-2889
Mold & Moisture: Keeping your home free from mold and moisture problems (PDF)
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) does not recommend mold testing for several reasons:
- Proper mold testing is expensive. If you can see or smell mold in your home, you know you have a mold problem. There are several ways to test for mold, and each test has different advantages. In order to get a good idea of a mold problem, several types of tests are needed. It is usually better to use the money you would spend on testing to solve the moisture issues and clean up mold.
- There is no health-based standard for mold levels in air. Everyone reacts differently to mold, and there is not enough research available to determine how much mold is “safe;” 3) Any mold growing inside is a problem; it does not matter what specific type of mold is present. MDH recommends that you consider any type of mold growing indoors a potential health hazard. It doesn’t matter if it is black, red, or green, any mold indoors is a problem.
To learn more:
- Visit the MDH Indoor Air Unit website
The U.S. Surgeon General, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommend that every Minnesota home be tested for radon. Mille Lacs County Public Health offers radon test kits at a reduced price for residents for $5. With each test kit comes useful information about radon, its effects, and how to best protect your family’s health.
Options to purchase a $5 Radon Test Kit Locally
Visit: Mille Lacs County Community and Veterans Services
525 2nd Street SE, Milaca, MN 56353
Online Purchasing Options
Air Chek, Inc. - A manufacturer of short-term radon test kits. Minnesota residents receive a discount. Order online: Air Chek.
Radonova - A manufacturer of long-term radon gas test kits. Minnesota residents receive a discount. Order online: Radonova.
For More Information:
Radon in Minnesota Homes - EH: Minnesota Department of Health (state.mn.us)
Radon: Keeping you safe from radon (state.mn.us) (PDF) – Updated 01/2022
Radon in Minnesota - MN Public Health Data Access portal - Radon Data Levels in MN