This month-long celebration offers an opportunity to learn more about housing and its impact on health and provide resources to encourage local activities as well as empower families to protect themselves from hazards in their home. It’s important to monitor lead exposure both in and outside the home. Lead poisoning can cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. Children may become exposed to lead by putting their hands or other lead-contaminated objects in their mouth, ingesting lead paint chips found around homes or playing in lead contaminated soil.
Currently, millions of U.S. homes have moderate to severe physical housing problems, including dilapidated structure; roofing problems; heating, plumbing and electrical deficiencies; water leaks and intrusion; pests; damaged paint; and high radon gas levels. These conditions are associated with a wide range of health issues, including unintentional injuries, respiratory illnesses like asthma and radon-induced lung cancer, and lead poisoning. The health and economic burdens from preventable hazards associated within home are considerable, and cost billions of dollars.
For more than 10 years, the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) has promoted the ‘Principles of a Healthy Home,’ and during National Healthy Homes Month (NHHM), The National Center for Health in Public Housing (NCHPH) hopes these Principles will help create standard messaging and practices around home health and safety. These principles are:
1. Keep your home Dry
2. Keep your home Clean
3. Keep your home Pest-Free
4. Keep your home Safe
5. Keep your home Contaminant-Free