Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home

Mayor's Health Task Force's picture

Everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home. It’s important for people of all ages; especially children, adults and senior, because their health can be most affected by their environment. Most people spend 70 percent or more of their time inside their home. Millions of homes, however, have hidden hazards that can affect the health of the family and their visitors. Specific research has revealed that many homes contain one of more hazards that adversely affect human health. A 2013 a federal government asked force and the National Center for Healthy Housing found that these home hazards pose a wide range of risks:

  • Mold and Pests can cause and worsen asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses. Poor housing conditions play a significant role in the respiratory health of the vulnerable family members. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 12 adults and 1in 10 children in the U.S. suffer from asthma.
  • Toxins such as lead, asbestos and many household chemicals harm human health in a variety of ways. Lead poisoning in children causes reduce IQ and attention span, hyperactivity, impaired growth, reading and learning disabilities, and hearing loss. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that almost 24 million homes have lead hazard from the paint, dust, or soil, and the CDC says that there are about 500,000 children in the U.S. with elevated blood lead levels.
  • Invisible poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide poisoning and radon also pose serious threat. Carbon monoxide poisoning results in more than 200 accidental deaths a year and, at much lower levels, causes flulike symptoms, which often go undiagnosed. Radon can increase the risk of cancer, and is responsible for approximately 21,000 lunch cancer deaths per year.
  • Falls are the leading cause of accidental injuries for people aged 65 and older. Older adults are more likely to be victims of falls, and the resulting injuries can affect their abilities to lead an active life.

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