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Welcome to. Companion PowerPoint Presentation for the Introduction to Housing textbook. Home Environments and Health. Home Environment-Health Interaction. Home Environment Health Risk Factors: Climate Building site Building materials & practices

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Welcome to...

Companion PowerPoint Presentation for the Introduction to Housing textbook


Home Environments and Health


Home Environment-Health Interaction

Home Environment Health Risk Factors:

  • Climate

  • Building site

  • Building materials & practices

  • Furnishings, finishes & household products

  • Resident lifestyle

    Of greatest concern for children, elderly & others with weakened immune systems


  • Basic principle of a healthy home is that all things are connected

  • Systems approach requiring a holistic understanding of how home design, construction & operational elements interact to create a dynamic system


Climate Variables

Climates in the U.S. are designated in terms of four zones:

  • Cold—heating predominant climate

  • Temperate—heating and cooling climate

  • Hot-arid—cooling predominant climate

  • Hot-humid—cooling and dehumidification predominant climate

    Protect from outdoor elements & have adequate & managed air exchange


In all climates home design, material selection & home maintenance are a balancing act of site-specific climate factors:

  • Solar quantity and quality

  • Air temperature

  • Air movements around the home

  • Precipitation amounts


Building Site

Constructing a healthy home begins with proper siting of a building:

  • The micro-climate—site specific prevailing climate conditions

  • Natural site—topographic factors that affect the micro-climate

  • Human-caused factors

    Research the site’s history


Storm Water Run-Off

Water that washes across land into nearby storm drains or directly into bodies of water

Common concerns:

  • Automotive waste

  • Fertilizers & pesticides

  • Yard & garden waste

  • Improper landscaping

  • Roof drainage


Building Materials & Practices

Whether the house is old or newly constructed, the impact of a home on the health of its occupants has much to do with the materials and building practices used during the construction as well as the materials and furnishings added since the original construction

Construction age is a major factor


Possible hazards of older homes:

  • Asbestos-containing materials

  • Lead-based paint

  • Pressure-treated lumber

  • Combustion gases such as carbon monoxide

  • Lead in water

  • Radon

  • Molds---------------

  • Formaldehyde

  • Underground fuel-oil storage tank

  • Drinking water contaminants


Ventilation

Good ventilation is necessary for moisture control as well as to remove airborne chemicals, particles, combustion by-products & odors

  • Windows

  • Kitchen ventilation fans

  • Bathroom ventilation fans

  • Whole-house fans

  • Fan size

  • Replacement air

  • Back drafting

  • Whole-house ventilation systems


Moisture Control

  • Excess moisture is a potential problem for both a building and the people who live in it

  • Excess moisture in building materials leads to structural problems such as peeling paint & rusting metal

  • Damp building materials tend to attract dirt & therefore require more cleaning & maintenance

  • Damp spaces make good environments for the growth of many biological pollutants


Preventing problems:

  • Good ventilation, especially using exhausts

  • Limit interior moisture sources

  • Keep materials clean

  • Hard surface or nonabsorbent material

  • Sealers

  • Vapor retarder material

  • Antimicrobial finishes or additives


Indoor Air Quality

  • Source control

  • Ventilation

  • Air cleaning

  • Visit Healthy Indoor Air for America’s Homes: www.healthyindoorair.org


Water Systems

Public/municipal water system or private water source

Differences are in testing & treating the water

  • Water testing

  • Wells

  • Water treatment


Furnishings, Finishes & Household Products

Potentially harmful materials:

  • Formaldehyde & other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as particle board

  • Petroleum-based products such as wood finishes

  • Aerosol containers

  • Pesticides


Help to control home indoor air quality by the choices you make in using household chemicals and products:

  • Use the least amount of a product possible

  • Read labels & follow safety precautions

  • Do not use a potentially hazardous chemical unless necessary

  • Use household chemicals & products only for their intended purpose

  • Choose product packaging that reduces the chance of spills and leaks (child-proof if needed)

  • Keep household products in original containers

  • Always use household products in well-ventilated areas


It is also a good idea to reduce the need for potentially hazardous household chemicals in the first place by practicing preventative maintenance:

  • Clean spills & stains quickly

  • Remove food wastes promptly

  • Control excess moisture to reduce the likelihood of problems with mold or household pests


Resident Lifestyle

The choices that people make affect the quality of the air & environment in their homes

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke from cigarettes, pipes, or cigars, can have devastating effects on a home and its residents

Do not allow smoking in your home


Household Pests

Any bug that is living in the house rather than accidentally getting in from the outside, represents a potential health & safety problem that should be addressed

  • Roaches can get into food and spoil it; roach feces cause pollution of the indoor air & can be a major trigger for asthma attacks, especially in children


  • Dust mites live all over people’s homes—in carpets, upholstered furniture, bedding & stuffed animals

  • Dust mites thrive in moist places & wherever they can feed on dead human skin cells

  • Many people are allergic to the feces of dust mites & for some people they serve as a trigger for asthma attacks


  • Pets that live indoors can result in potential health risks to household members

  • Dander is the major problem

    Keep pets out of carpeted areas & bedrooms


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