What is a Healthy Home?

The mission of the Healthy Homes Section is to improve the health and wellbeing of Michigan citizens by promoting safe and healthy home environments through comprehensive home-based intervention programs, lead certifications and regulations, public education and outreach, and statewide partnerships.

What is a Healthy Home?

Because we spend so much time at home, it needs to be a safe environment to eat, play, and raise our families. The Healthy Homes concept is a way to address concerns about the link between health issues and housing. Healthy Homes focuses on creating a home environment without pests, contaminants, allergens, and injury hazards that can lead to health problems. After removing these things, regular maintenance is needed to keep those hazards away and keep residents healthy.

The Principles of a Healthy Home:

The following are the seven principles of Healthy Homes that highlight the connection between health of a home and health its residents. A Healthy Home should be:

  1. DRY: Water can enter the home either through leaks from the outside (roofs, walls, or the foundation); leaks from the inside (showers, toilets, or pipes); and condensation. Keep the home dry in order to keep it free of problems caused by water damage.
  2. CLEAN: Clean homes help prevent exposure to pests, allergens, contaminants that may be present. When the home is clean, it is easier to keep it that way.
  3. VENTILATED: When you keep fresh air ventilating in the home, it prevents hazards in the air from staying in the home. By keeping air moving through the home, you reduce the concentration of allergens, smoke, mold, and dangerous gases in the air.
  4. PEST-FREE: Pests like mice, cockroaches, or bedbugs enter the home looking for food, water, and shelter. They can transmit diseases, bring allergens with them, and cause people to use dangerous chemicals to get rid of them. Prevent them from entering the home and your family will be healthier.
  5. SAFE: The most common causes of home injury are: falls, fires, poisoning, choking, firearms, and drowning. By making safe choices during everyday activities in the home, you can prevent all of those injuries.
  6. CONTAMINANT-FREE: Potentially dangerous chemicals are found in many households. Lead is a metal found in the paint of many homes built before 1978 and is toxic if swallowed. Other household products such as pesticides and cleaning products may also contain dangerous chemicals that cause serious health problems if not used correctly. Instead, use natural and green cleaning products.
  7. MAINTAINED: No matter how much work you put into your keeping your home safe and healthy, some problems will inevitably develop over time. Regularly inspecting and safely repairing your home will prevent problems from becoming hazardous to your health.

You can read more about them at the National Center for Healthy Housing, and check out this video from the Canadian Partnership for Children's Health and Environment:

From the MDCH Healthy Homes Section: