Many homes fall short of the basic
requirements of a healthy home and contain one or more of hazards that
adversely affect human health.
research has shown that these housing-related hazards pose
a broad spectrum of risks, including the following:
Toxic materials such as lead,
can harm human health in a variety of ways. For instance, lead poisoning
in children causes reduced IQ and attention span, hyperactivity, impaired
growth, reading and learning disabilities, hearing loss, insomnia,
and a range of other health, intellectual, and behavioral problems.
- Poisonous gases such as carbon
monoxide and radon
also pose threats to health. Carbon monoxide poisoning results in more
than 200 accidental deaths a year and, at much lower levels, causes
flu-like symptoms, which often go undiagnosed. Radon can increase the
risk of cancer,
which is the second leading cause of death among adults and children
in the U.S.
Please refer to the pages on the sidebar for more detailed information
concerning some of the major housing-related health hazards, conditions
that may result from exposure to them, and ways to avoid these hazards.
The ideal way to maintain healthy homes and properties is to practice
(addressing these hazards before they become dangerous problems) using
a holistic approach
(tackling many hazards at once). With this in mind, the Alliance has included
two pages in this section — Moisture
and Ventilation and Indoor
Air Quality — to discuss techniques that can help minimize
threats from multiple hazards.