Most Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, exposing them to home health and safety hazards ranging from asthma triggers to potentially deadly pollutants like asbestos and lead-based paint. To reinforce the connection between a family’s health and their homes, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is declaring this June as the first-ever National Healthy Homes Month. Launched by HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH), this month is designed to educate families of potential health hazards in a home, and empower them to create the healthiest home possible for their family.
This year’s theme is “Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home,” recognizing that people spend most of their time inside, and introduces them to healthy homes concepts while providing tips for keeping homes healthy and safe.
“National Healthy Homes Month calls attention to the fact that health and home safety are attainable for all,” says Michelle Miller, Acting Director of HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. “We are working closely with our federal partners, and many other organizations, to highlight the dangers of residential hazards to everyone, but especially children and other vulnerable populations in low income households.”
To help celebrate the month and to address today’s pressing home health issues, HUD and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) are co-hosting an annual National Healthy Homes Educational Conference from June 13-16, 2016 in San Antonio. The State of Big Ideas: Moving Environmental Health Outside the Box conference will gather 1,200 environmental health and healthy housing professionals for an in-depth look at some of the most important issues facing the nation such as water quality, healthy housing and communities, asthma, emergency preparedness and more.
Currently, millions of American homes have moderate-to-severe physical housing problems, including lead-based paint hazards, 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.
National Healthy Homes Month 2016 will focus national attention on ways to keep people of all ages safe and healthy in their homes. To mark this month-long campaign, HUD Secretary Julián Castro, produced a video highlighting the direct link between a household’s health and the conditions within their homes.
Recently, HUD unveiled the Healthy Homes App, designed to raise awareness about potentially serious health and safety problems in the home and the steps consumers can take to protect themselves.
For more information on National Healthy Homes Month 2016, visit HUD’s website.