(01/06/17) BATON ROUGE, La. – June 1 marked the beginning of the second annual National Healthy Homes Month, designated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to raise public awareness of what makes a home healthy, common health hazards in homes and practical actions to combat these problems.
It also highlights the federal and local resources that are available to make a difference in the places where families live, play and grow, said LSU AgCenter housing specialist Claudette Hanks Reichel.
“Many people tend to assume their home has no impact on their health. Not true!” Reichel said. “Studies have shown that most Americans spend 80-90 percent of their time indoors, and indoor air tends to be much more polluted than outdoor air.”
A healthy home is one that provides a safe, beneficial environment that protects families from disease and injury. The HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes estimates that approximately 30 million homes have indoor environmental dangers that may include physical safety hazards, lead-based paint and pests.
Many of these health issues are 100 percent preventable, the agency says. Almost 6 million U.S. homes have moderate to severe infrastructure problems, such as water leaks and intrusion, injury hazards, and heating, plumbing and electrical weaknesses.
“National Healthy Homes Month serves as an important educational call to action,” said Jon L. Gant, director of the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. “Providing families with the resources they need to keep their homes safe from potential health hazards, such as lead-based paint and pests helps them to create the healthiest home possible.”
The AgCenter LaHouse Resource Center and its housing program offer many free educational resources to help people have healthy homes in the Deep South’s hot, humid climate and hazard zones, Reichel said.
Articles, publications and healthy home features are available online at www.lsuagcenter.com/LaHouse. Other resources include LaHouse on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mylahouse and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/mylahouse.
Other online information is available at www.hud.gov/healthyhomes to learn more about National Healthy Homes Month, get updates on activities, find out how to participate and download publications.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture