American Housing Survey (back to top)
What Is Asbestos? (back to top)
Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.
What Is Asthma? (back to top)
Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It is the most common long-term disease of children,
but adults have asthma, too. Asthma causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, but you will have asthma attacks only when something bothers your lungs.
Bedbugs (back to top)
What is Carbon Monoxide? (back to top)
Carbon monoxide is produced by burning fuel. Therefore, any fuel-burning appliance in your home is a potential CO source.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Water? (back to top)
There is no such thing as naturally pure water. In nature, all water contains some impurities. As water flows in streams, sits in lakes, and filters through layers of soil and rock in the ground, it dissolves or absorbs the substances that it touches. Some of these substances are harmless. In fact, some people prefer mineral water precisely because minerals give it an appealing taste. However, at certain levels, minerals, just like man-made chemicals, are considered contaminants that can make water unpalatable or even unsafe.
What is Hantavirus? (back to top)
Hantavirus is a serious cardiopulmonary infection that can cause death.
The virus that causes the disease is transmitted to humans by such
rodents as deer mice, which are common in Montana.
http://www.msuextension.org/publications/HomeHealthandFamily/MT199404HR.pdf http://wonder.cdc.gov/wonder/prevguid/p0000438/p0000438.asp#head001000000000000 http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/noframes/epislides/episls.htm http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/noframes/printgenlsection.htm
Are All Pesticides Dangerous? (back to top)
No, not all pesticides are dangerous or hazardous to humans. For example, a pesticide known as "milky spore", which is actually a bacterium, is not dangerous to humans, animals or beneficial insects. It is a selective insecticide. Selective because it kills only certain types of beetles. These are Japanese beetles, Oriental beetles, Rose chafers and certain May and June beetles.
What is the Purpose of the Healthy Homes Program? (back to top)
The Healthy Homes Program addresses multiple childhood diseases and injuries in the home. The Initiative takes a comprehensive approach to these activities by focusing on housing-related hazards in a coordinated fashion, rather than addressing a single hazard at a time. The HHI builds upon HUD's successful Lead Hazard Control programs to expand its efforts to address a variety of environmental health and safety concerns including: mold, lead, allergens, asthma, carbon monoxide, home safety, pesticides, and radon.
What is the Goal of Weatherization? (back to top)
The goal of weatherization is to reduce energy costs for low-income families, particularly for the elderly, people with disabilities, and children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.
Home Safety (back to top)
Every 13 seconds, U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call about someone being exposed to a poison. Forty percent of those cases involve a child under three years of age. According to the American Association of Poison Centers, more than 50 percent of over two million exposure incidents each year involve children under six years of age. What's more, poison center data reported over 70,000 calls made to poison centers with concerns about exposure to common household pesticides. These figures show the need for everyone to lock up pesticides and household chemicals out of children's reach – preferably in a high cabinet.
What is Lead? (back to top)
Lead is a poisonous metal that can damage nervous connections and cause blood and brain disorders. Like mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time. Lead poisoning was documented in ancient Rome, ancient Greece, and ancient China.
What is Mercury? (back to top)
Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water and soil. It exists in several forms: elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds. Mercury is an element in the earth's crust. Humans cannot create or destroy mercury. Pure mercury is a liquid metal, sometimes referred to as quicksilver that volatizes readily. It has traditionally been used to make products like thermometers, switches, and some light bulbs.
What is Mold? (back to top)
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
What is IPM? (back to top)
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
The IPM approach can be applied to both agricultural and non-agricultural settings, such as the home, garden, and workplace. IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options including, but not limited to, the judicious use of pesticides. In contrast, organic food production applies many of the same concepts as IPM but limits the use of pesticides to those that are produced from natural sources, as opposed to synthetic chemicals.
Plasticizers (back to top)
What is Radon? (back to top)
Radon is a gas that has no color, odor, or taste and comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in the ground. You can be exposed to radon by two main sources: (1) radon in the air in your home (frequently called "radon in indoor air") and (2) radon in drinking water. Radon can get into the air your breathe and into the water you drink. Radon is also found in small amounts in outdoor air. Most of the radon in indoor air comes from soil underneath the home. As uranium breaks down, radon gas forms and seeps into the house. Radon from soil can get into any type of building - homes, offices, and schools - and build up to high levels in the air inside the building. Radon gas can also dissolve and accumulate in water from underground sources (called ground water), such as wells. When water that contains radon is used in the home for showering, washing dishes, and cooking, radon gas escapes from the water and goes into the air. It is similar to carbonated soda drinks where carbon dioxide is dissolved in the soda and is released when you open the bottle. Some radon also stays in the water. Radon is not a concern in water that comes from lakes, rivers, and reservoirs (called surface water), because the radon is released into the air before it ever arrives at your tap.
Assessment (back to top)
There are many tools available to aid in the assessment of buildings, including moisture meters, CO detectors and many others.
Records and Maintenance Guidelines (back to top)
Montana State University Extension, Housing and Environmental Health Program has several records and maintenance guidelines folders that will assist you in keeping your important household information at your fingertips. Some of the folders available include water well, septic system and indoor air quality.
EPA Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule (RRP) (back to top)
EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program Rule (RRP) will affect those who work in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities, including: renovation contractors, maintenance workers in multi-family housing, painters, and other specialty trades. Under the rule, child-occupied facilities are defined as residential, public or commercial buildings where children under age six are present on a regular basis.
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