A healthy home supports and protects the health and safety of its occupants. According to Vickie Memmer of Teton Healthy Homes, most people spend about 70% of their time indoors, more for children and the elderly. “The air we breathe indoors can be more polluted than the outside air,” Says Vickie. But what makes a healthy home environment? Housing conditions can and should support good health. Here we are presenting healthy home principles as provided by the National Center for Healthy Housing. Healthy homes are:
Dry: Damp houses provide a nurturing environment for mites, roaches, rodents, and molds, all of which are associated with asthma.
Clean: Clean homes help reduce pest infestations and exposure to contaminants.
Ventilated: Studies show that increasing the fresh air supply in a home improves respiratory health.
Pest-Free: Recent studies show a causal relationship between exposure to mice and cockroaches and asthma episodes in children; yet inappropriate treatment for pest infestations can exacerbate health problems, since pesticide residues in homes pose risks for neurological damage and cancer.
Safe: 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.
Contaminant-Free: Chemical exposures include lead, radon, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, and environmental tobacco smoke. Exposures to asbestos particles, radon gas, carbon monoxide, and secondhand tobacco smoke are far higher indoors than outside.
Maintained: Poorly maintained homes are at risk for moisture and pest problems. Deteriorated lead-based paint in older housing is the primary cause of lead poisoning, which affects some 535,000 U.S. children.
Thermally Controlled: Tenants and homeowners are at risk for various health problems related to prolonged exposure to excessive heat or cold when their homes do not maintain adequate temperatures.
Good home maintenance can act to reduce allergens, prevent illness, and reduce injury from accidents. When was the last time you inspected your attic for leaks, or looked in in your crawl space for signs of moisture or pests? What about your dryer vent? Is it vented to the exterior of your home or does it dead end in your attic? When was the last time you checked it for lint accumulation that could pose a fire hazard?
If you have questions about a healthy home environment, we are happy to assist. We provide health and wellness services through Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates/Christie’s International Real Estate’s Chief Wellness Officer and Programs. Contact us for more information.