Research Reveals Majority of U.S. Homes Pose Health Risks: Is Yours One?

Research Reveals Majority of U.S. Homes Pose Health Risks: Is Yours One?

For most people, our home is our haven – the place where life is at its most comfortable and safe. But in 2009, the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) revealed research that showed that 67% of US families lived in a home with at least one major health risk.

So what constitutes a health risk? The NCHH came up with what they call the Seven Principles of Healthy Homes, which includes keeping homes:

  • Dry
  • Clean
  • Ventilated
  • Contaminant-free
  • Pest-free
  • Safe
  • Maintained

The NCHH acknowledged that unhealthy housing conditions can take a significant toll on the health and safety of occupants, so they outlined some expert advice that could help families apply the Seven Principles of Healthy Homes in their own homes.

Dry

A more arid climate within a home means less issues with things like dust mites, roaches, mold and rodents – all things that thrive in damp environments and can create havoc for asthma sufferers.

Tips for creating a drier home:

  • Place dehumidifiers in basements and other damp spaces to remove excess moisture
  • Repair leaks and repair dry wall that’s been damaged by water
  • Install drain pans under the hot water heater

 

Clean

Homes that are clean mean homes with less dirt, dust and chemical residue.

Tips for creating a cleaner home:

  • Place mats at every door that leads outside to capture dirt from shoes and pets
  • Clean with non-toxic or chemical-free supplies
  • Find ways to eliminate as much dust as possible

 

Ventilated

A fresh, clean air supply is important! Improving your indoor air quality can improve your overall respiratory health.

Tips for creating a better ventilated home:

  • Install exhaust fans vented to the exterior in bathrooms and over the range in the kitchen
  • Exhaust fans vented to the outside will help reduce moisture and contaminants in bathrooms and kitchen

 

Contaminant-free

Chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can contaminate your indoor air, making a home untenable for people with breathing sensitivities or difficulties.

Tips for creating a better ventilated home:

  • Avoid smoking inside
  • Regularly test for radon
  • Install a carbon monoxide monitor
  • Make sure chimneys and flues are clean prior to using your fireplace

 

Pest-free

Exposures to pests in the home, like mice and cockroaches, have been linked to asthma episodes in children.

Tips for creating a pest-free home:

  • Opt for other pest-control methods besides chemical pesticides like sprayers and foggers, since they can have adverse effects on humans as well as the pests you’re trying to control.
  • Some methods include reducing food and water sources that could attract pests, and filling cracks and crevices where they could gain entry to your home.

 

Safe

Did you know that the majority of injuries among children occur in the home? Common injuries include falls, injuries from objects in a home, burns and poisonings.

Tips for creating a safer home:

  • Install night lights in dark areas like hallways and bathrooms
  • Make sure a smoke detector is on every level of your home, and the batteries are fresh and in working order
  • Consider installing anti-scald devices in water faucets and shower heads

 

Maintained

Poorly maintained homes are vulnerable to moisture and pest problems. The NCHH reports that deteriorated lead-based paint in older housing is the primary cause of lead poisoning, which affects approximately 240,000 U.S. children.

Tips for creating a well-maintained home:

  • Fix peeling lead-based paint in homes. Hire a contractor trained in lead safety for renovations and major repairs to homes built before 1978.
  • For maximum filtration, replace furnace filters every four months with a Merv-10 filter

 

Source:

The National Center for Healthy Housing 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*