What is a Healthy Home?
According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, a healthy home is housing that is designed, constructed, maintained, and rehabilitated in a manner that is conducive to good occupant health.
Healthy housing is important for everyone, whether you own or rent your home. The Healthy Homes Coalition is especially concerned with how these threats impact children’s health and wellbeing. Click here to find out how the Healthy Homes Coalition can help you and your family.
The Healthy Homes Coalition affirms the Seven Principles of a Healthy Home and starts with people in mind. This means that our assessments take into consideration the habits and behaviors of those who live in the home, and solutions must be sustainable for both those who live in and own the home.
If you own your home, Healthy Homes can help you assess your home and connect you with resources to make it healthier. If you rent, Healthy Homes can work with you on strategies that tenants can take with or without the landlord’s cooperation.
The Seven Principles of a Healthy Home
1. Keep it Dry
Moisture in homes has been linked to a wide range of health problems, from respiratory problems to lead poisoning, from accidental injury to asthma. Moisture creates a favorable environment for mites, rodents, molds, and roaches, all of which are associated with asthma.
2. Keep It Clean
A clean home helps ensure that people are not exposed to contaminants and chemicals, and that pests don’t have food, water, and a place to live.
3. Keep It Pest-Free
Studies show that there is a causal relationship between mice and cockroach exposure and asthma episodes in children with asthma. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) addresses the issue of pests holistically, without using toxic pesticides.
4. Keep It Safe
Most childhood injuries occur at home. Falls, poisoning, and burns are the three most common residential injuries for children.
5. Keep It Contaminate-Free
Homes have many potential contaminant exposure risks, including lead, radon, pesticides, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), tobacco smoke, carbon monoxide, and asbestos. Children are more likely to be exposed to lead, radon, asbestos, tobacco smoke and other toxicants in higher concentration in the home than outside.
6. Keep It Ventilated
Studies show that respiratory health is related to access to fresh air, increasing a home’s fresh air supply reduces moisture, improves air quality, and increases respiratory health.
7. Keep It Maintained
Neglected homes are more at risk for moisture, pest, lead paint and accidental injury than homes that are properly maintained.