This month we take a look at a holistic approach for preventing diseases and injuries that result from housing-related hazards. Learn how to maintain a healthy home through resources in our City, videos, healthy eating tips, important info for healthy kids, and upcoming events for all ages.
Don't forget to take the online health pledge each month for your chance to win prizes!
What is a healthy home?
A healthy home is designed, built and maintained to support health while preventing disease and injury.
TAKE ACTION NOW TO MAKE A HEALTHY HOME
- Reduce asthma and allergy symptoms by keeping your home dry, clean and pest free.
- Set your water heater at 120° F to avoid scalds and burns.
- Install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms on each level of your home and near sleeping areas.
- Make your home a no smoking zone.
- Properly store hazardous household products and keep them out of the reach of children and pets.
- Reduce moisture in your home by sealing leaks and clearing gutters.
- Avoid respiratory irritants by airing out new furniture and carpeting prior to bringing it into the home.
- Avoid using pesticides in the home.
PREVENTING EXPOSURE TO HARMFUL CHEMICALS
- Soil Areas – Lead and other pollutants from damaged paint or caulk may be in soil near houses built before 1978. This is a special concern in play areas used by children, especially when soil is bare. Testing is a good idea but you will need someone with special training to perform the test and explain the results.
- Asbestos – Insulation, tile or other materials in houses may contain asbestos. If these materials are in good condition they are generally safe. However, damaged materials can release fibers and cause serious lung damage. Have a qualified professional check whether containment or removal is needed. Do not remove asbestos yourself.
- Painting and Renovation Products – Paint, stripper, glue and other materials may contain volatile organic compounds, which can be unhealthy. Use proper ventilation and protective gear.
- Pesticides and Other Hazardous Household Products – Storage spaces for pesticides and other household chemicals may be contaminated with these products. Renovation can release harmful levels of dust and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs.) Use proper ventilation and protective gear.
- Old Caulk and Paint – Caulk and paint made before 1980 may contain PCBs or lead. Asbestos may also be present. Damaged caulk and paint are of most concern. It is dangerous to breathe in or swallow dust from such sources or to let it touch your skin.
- Treated Wood – One common wood treatment product, chromated copper arsenate (CCA), has been phased out but may still be in basements or framing. Use proper ventilation and protective gear when working with treated wood.
- Mold and Moisture – Mold can cause serious health problems such as allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints. If mold is a problem you must eliminate sources of moisture and clean up the mold. Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water and dry completely. Absorbent materials with mold growth such as ceiling tiles and carpet may have to be thrown away. Use proper ventilation and protective gear.