Did you know your own home can make you sick?
Radon, lead-based paint, mold, pests and safety hazards all contribute to diseases, accidents and deaths.
Here are the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's seven principles of a healthy home:
1. Dry: Damp houses provide a nurturing environment for mites, roaches, rodents, and molds, all of which are associated with asthma.
2. Clean: Clean homes help reduce pest infestations and exposure to contaminants;
3. Pest-Free: – Recent studies show there is a connection between exposure to mice and cockroaches and the development of asthma. Improper treatment of pest infestations can leave pesticide residues, which could cause neurological damage and cancer.
4. Safe: The majority of injuries occur in the home. Falls are the most frequent cause of residential injuries, followed by injuries from objects in the home, burns, and poisonings.
5. Contaminant-free: It is important to keep homes clear of contaminants such as lead, asbestos particles, radon gas, carbon monoxide, pesticides, volatile organic compounds and tobacco smoke. Exposures to these contaminants are far higher indoors than outside.
6. Ventilated: Studies show that increasing the fresh air supply in a home improves respiratory health. Even cooking in a poorly-ventilated home can produce harmful pollution.
7. Maintained: Poorly maintained homes are at risk for moisture and pest problems. Lead-based paint in older homes is the primary cause of lead poisoning, which affects some 240,000 U.S. children.
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development