Poor Housing Conditions
Community health begins in the home, and a sanitary environment is important for both you and your neighbors.
- by Email to email@example.com
- 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.
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 Links and Resources
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Mold
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Mold
- Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – About Mold and Moisture
- Ohio Department of Health – Emergency Flood Cleanup and Mold
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
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Lead
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Lead
- Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Drinking Water Advisories for Ohio Public Water Systems
- Consumer Product Safety Commission – Latest Recalls
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 Environment, Agency 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 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
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Radon
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Protect Yourself and Your Family from Radon
- To request a free radon test kit, visit Ohio Department of Health – Free Radon Test Kit Offer.
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.