The Intersection of Environment, Housing, and Health

Oct 23, 2019  02:00 PM  EST

The environments where we live, learn, work, and play contribute to our health and well-being. By engaging families in conversations about their homes and neighborhood conditions, health professionals can obtain a deeper understanding of the potential environmental risks faced by their patient population. This environmental awareness can positively inform patient care and facilitate connections to appropriate community resources. In this four-part series, the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium reviewed key environmental health concerns for vulnerable populations, with a focus on public housing residents, provide insight from experts across the field, and share strategies to reduce environmental health risks in your community.


Part 1: Best Practices to Prevent Lead Poisoning: What Families Need to Know

Despite the dramatic decline in blood lead levels since 1978, when lead paint was banned in the U.S., lead poisoning still persists today. Across the U.S., 24 million old homes have chipping and peeling lead-based paint, placing families at risk for lead poisoning. Lead exposure can cause irreversible damage to the brain and is especially harmful to children’s health and development. There are steps health care providers can take to keep families safe from lead. Lead poisoning is preventable! Watch our discussion with representatives from the HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week to learn about best practices and considerations for your community.

Part 2: Strategies for Improved Indoor Air Quality and Resident Health

Maintaining a healthy home is a key component of supporting resident health. Homes with environmental hazards, such as excessive moisture, mold, poor ventilation, and chemicals can increase families’ risk for exacerbated allergies and asthma, respiratory morbidities, and other poor health outcomes. In this module, the Energy Coordinating Agency reviewed the benefits of energy-efficient, safe, and healthy housing and identify resources for families.

Part 3: Climate Change and Considerations for Health Care

Climate change continues to generate noticeable impacts on the environment and public health, creating urgency for collaboration across sectors. Dr. Laura Anderko of Georgetown University’s Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, discusses diverse regional impacts of climate change in the U.S., reviews climate change effects on housing and health, and provides tools for health care providers to take action.

Part 4: Exploring Neighborhood Factors that Impact Health

For the last module, we examined social determinants of health related to neighborhood factors and the physical environment and present strategies to improve community health.