Healthy Homes
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Keeping a Healthy Home

In addition to policy level efforts, there are a number of things that individuals can do to maintain a healthy home. California law makes landlords and tenants each responsible for certain kinds of repairs; however, landlords ultimately are legally responsible for ensuring that their rental units are habitable. (California Tenants Handbook).

The NCHH has identified seven principles for a healthy home, along with steps owners, landlords, and tenants can take (outlined below).

1. Keep the Home Dry

Moisture in the home provides a nurturing environment for mites, roaches, rodents, and molds, all of which are associated with asthma.

Things you can do:

NCHH provides additional tips for preventing and eliminating excess moisture in the home.

2. Keep the Home Clean

Clean homes help reduce exposure to contaminants and pest infestations. Extra clutter and dirt can provide a hiding place for pests and contaminants to collect and can lead to falls or other injuries.

Things you can do:

3. Keep the Home Pest-Free

Recent studies show a causal relationship between exposure to mice and cockroaches and asthma episodes in children. However, pesticide-based treatment of pest infestations can exacerbate health problems, since pesticide residues in homes pose the risk of neurological damage and cancer.  Pests can be eliminated using safer methods that will not harm your family or pets.

Things you can do:

You can find additional safer alternatives to pesticides at:  Preventing Pests at Home.

4. Keep the Home Safe

According to NCHH, the majority of injuries among children occur in the home. Falls are the most frequent cause of residential injuries to children, followed by injuries from objects in the home, burns, and poisonings. Injuries can be the result of a variety of sources or objects and contribute to drowning, suffocation, and poisoning.

Things you can do:

Most injuries can be prevented by following some simple precautions:  Injury Prevention and Safety.

5. Keep the Home Contaminant-Free

Exposure to contaminants including lead, radon, pesticides, second-hand smoke, and chemicals present in common household products can have negative health impacts.

Things you can do:

NCHH developed a short guide on common household contaminants: Common Household Contaminants: The Hazards and the Laws.

6. Keep the Home Well-Ventilated (Indoor Air Quality)

Studies show that increasing the fresh air supply in a home improves respiratory health by reducing exposure to airborne contaminants.

Things you can do:

NCHH provides additional tips on how to improve Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality while mitigating exposure to outdoor air contaminants.

7. Keep the Home Well-Maintained

Poorly-maintained homes are at risk of moisture, pests, and lead paint problems. Chipping paint or tile may contain lead. Children under age six are most at risk for lead poisoning because they play and crawl on the ground and put their fingers into their mouths. Lead is easily absorbed in their bodies and can interfere with developing brain and organ systems.

Things you can do:

The  healthy home checklist shows steps you can take in each room of your house to maintain a healthy home.

To learn more about General Healthy Homes Principles and Interventions:

To learn more about Mold and Dampness

To learn more about Pests and Pest Management

To learn more about Radon