Poor Housing Conditions

Community health begins in the home, and a sanitary environment is important for both you and your neighbors.

Lake County General Health District investigates complaints made about poor housing conditions based on the Chapter 1610 Housing – Dwelling Units Code. It is important to note that the name and original signature of the person making the complaint is required for complaints regarding interior conditions of a house or apartment. To make a complaint, please complete, sign, and return the Housing Complaint Form:

  • by Email to housing@lcghd.org
  • by Mail to Lake County General Health District 5966 Heisley Road, Mentor, OH 44060
  • In Person to 5966 Heisley Road, Mentor, OH 44060

For more information, questions, or concerns, contact the Health District at (440) 350-2543.

Healthy Homes

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) responded to concerns for children’s health by initiating the Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI). The Healthy Homes Strategic Plan outlines their approach to alleviate housing-related environmental health hazards. The Healthy Homes program takes a comprehensive approach to address several childhood diseases and injuries incurred from the home. Some of the environmental health and safety concerns HUD and HHI focus on include asthma, allergens, mold, radon, lead, and carbon monoxide. To learn more bout HUD, HHI, and find safety tips for the home, visit Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – The Healthy Homes Program.  

Mold in the Home
Lead & Mercury
Radon and Carbon Monoxide

Mold

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mold is a microscopic organism that can grow on virtually any surface indoors and outdoors where moisture and nutrients are present. Common household materials such as drywall, insulation, carpeting, dust and dirt, along with moisture, are the key ingredients to mold growth. The more moisture available, the more mold is produced. Tiny spores containing the fungus DNA are released into the air by the organism, which everyone is exposed to on a daily basis.  Airborne mold exists in nearly all indoor and outdoor environments. Although most people are unaffected by inhaling mold particles, some allergic reactions can occur in susceptible people, regardless of mold color, which can be diagnosed and treated by a physician. There are thousands of different types of mold that appear in nearly any color including green, black, brown and pink.  Due to the amount of moisture, bathrooms routinely develop moldy areas especially in toilets, bathtubs, showers, and sinks. Weekly cleaning with a variety of household products or bleach water, and a little scrubbing by the resident, will remove the growths and restore air quality.  Other moist areas, such as leaky basements or flooded areas, may require more aggressive cleaning or removal of the compromised material. Eliminating the source of the moisture is the most effective way to stop further mold growth.  Dehumidifiers are an effective proactive measure to help remove moisture that promotes the growth of mold. Please be advised that the Health Department does not test for mold identification.

Mold Links and Resources

 

 

Lead

Although lead is a naturally occurring element, it can be a threat to the environment and to human health.  Lead can damage most systems in the human body and is especially harmful to children. If a home, apartment, school, daycare, or other structure was constructed before 1978, there is a good chance lead can be found in the building.

Lead around the Home

Lead can be found in many unsuspecting places . Some potential sources of lead can be:

  • Interior/Exterior paint
  • Older pipes and plumbing fixtures
  • Drinking water (leached from pipes)
  • Folk remedies (Greta, Azarcon, Ghasard, and Ba-baw-san)
  • Dust from sanding certain surfaces, demolition, remodeling, etc.
  • Hobby materials such as pottery glazes and stained glass framing
  • Household items (toys, jewelry, furniture, etc.)

Lead and Children

Children are more susceptible to the harmful effects of lead because their bodies absorb it more readily than adults. The major concern is impaired brain and nervous system development and damage. The result can be learning and behavioral problems. For more information on lead and children, visit Ohio Department of Health – About Lead and Ohio Department of Health – For Parents, Childhood Lead Poisoning

Lead Links and Resources

Mercury

Mercury is a metal that is liquid at room temperature and is commonly found in thermometers, thermostats, and other household items such as fluorescent light bulbs. Mercury, in any of its compounds, is toxic and can cause serious illness. Since mercury may vaporize, inhalation is one major concern. The other concern is its ability to absorb easily through the skin, lungs, and intestines. Prolonged exposure to mercury can result in irreversible damage to the brain, central nervous system, and kidneys. To learn more about mercury and possible adverse health effects, visit U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Mercury in Your EnvironmentAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) – Mercury and Your Health, or Ohio Department of Health – Mercury.

Mercury Links and Resources

What do they have in common?

Both radon and carbon monoxide are colorless, odorless gasses that can be found in homes. Exposure to either of them can also result in serious health issues. Radon test kits are available to determine radon levels in a home or dwelling. There are also detectors that can be purchased for either carbon monoxide or radon that work much like a smoke detector.

Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally from uranium decay. Although that may sound like something you may never come across, it is commonly found in everyday rocks and soil. Houses built on top of those natural materials can experience a build up of radon gas as it works its way up cracks and crevasses. Radon may even find its way into drinking water. Prolonged exposure to radon gas can significantly increase the risk of cancer. For more information on the health risks of radon, visit U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Health Risks of Radon.

Radon Links and Resources

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is found in combustion fumes that are produced by cars, gas cook-tops and ovens, gas dryers, generators, gas or kerosene space heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves. If CO builds up in an enclosed space like a room, a home, or a garage, people and animals can get carbon monoxide poisoning. Poisoning happens because red blood cells pick up CO faster than oxygen. When that happens, a person might experience headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. If a person or animal is asleep when CO builds up, the situation may be fatal. Visit the links below for more information on CO poisoning and prevention.

Carbon Monoxide Links and Resources