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Healthy Homes

A Healthy Home is a dwelling that is considered to be: clean, safe, well maintained, dry, pest-free, ventilated, and contaminant free.

A clean and safe home is where good health begins. "Healthy Homes" is a concept developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that takes a holistic look at housing conditions instead of individual problems, while promoting safe and sanitary housing as a means for preventing disease and injury. There is considerable emerging scientific evidence linking health outcomes such as asthma, lead poisoning, and unintentional injuries to substandard housing conditions.  As a result, there is a growing need for preventing the public health problems that stem from these issues. Even newer or expensive homes may have hidden health hazards. Creating healthier housing promotes the healthy growth and development of children and has the potential to save on future health care costs.

The Environmental Health Division conducted Healthy Home Assessments as part of a grant program with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) from February to October 2012. Since the end of the grant program, the focus is to integrate healthy homes concepts into existing programs, such as rental housing inspections. The goal is to address health hazards frequently found in homes, as well as encourage prevention activities, provide guidance, resources, and support to individuals exposed to unhealthy conditions within their homes.

According to MDH, an average American spends approximately 80 - 90 percent of their time indoors, with the largest percentage of this time spent within their homes. Your home provides a place of comfort and protection, but your home may also have hidden health hazards, such as lead, mold/moisture, carbon monoxide, second-hand smoke, radon, pesticides, and hazardous household products. Many homes also have safety hazards that may cause physical injuries, fires, poisonings, and other emergencies. Creating a healthier home has obvious benefits to your family's health and well-being. Good health starts in the home.

There are 7 principles to a “Healthy Home”:

  • Clean
  • Safe
  • Well maintained
  • Dry
  • Pest-free
  • Ventilated
  • Contaminant free

If there are any questions regarding the content of this page or have concerns about a housing condition, please contact: Environmental Health at 952-563-8934.

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