Several investigators have developed indoor air quality questionnaires for use in field studies. The approach used in many of them have numerous features in common, but most of them are unique in their content (wording, format, item selection). It is thought that indoor air quality research could be greatly advanced if the primary or fundamental questions and instruments could be consolidated. The use of a basic set of "standard" questions would permit intercomparison of results from different research studies. It is generally agreed that environmental inventory questionnaires (EIQ) help to classify, at least in screening, relative concentration estimates, which precede exposure estimation. Thus, such instruments are not equivalent to monitoring for exposure assessment. However, data linkage and mega data bases are important for some comparative analyses of exposure assessment and exposure-response relationships. Standard instruments such as the EIQ are useful as a screening device to precede other tests to allow identification of potentially high exposure situations. They can also amplify information from other tests. General usage of standard questionnaires and protocols can lead to cumulative improvements in data collection, specificity and effectiveness. This has been the rationale for the present efforts by investigators to form a standardized environmental inventory questionnaire, under the auspices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gas Research Institute (GRI), and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).