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Healthy Housing Standards Can Help The IAQ of Homes

Posted on June 11, 2014
by Susana Escamilla


The National Center for Healthy Housing Standard (NCHH) and the American Public Health Association issued a new healthy housing standard that will eventually develop into an important factor for indoor environment regulations. The standards all represent a way for individuals to adopt the policy and apply it to their home whether they own or rent their home or any property owner. Dr Thomas Vernon who chairs the NCHH’s Board of Directors states wants to ensure that every person in America has access to a safe and healthy home. The standard includes guidelines in dealing with lead based paint, asbestos, radon and toxic substances in building materials. In addition, it requires that smoking be prohibited in all indoor areas in multi family buildings. We have seen public areas prohibited smoking close to buildings and now this standard can do the same for multi family buildings to help increase better indoor air quality. In the standard there are several sections that provide brief guidelines that can improve indoor air quality and they are:

  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems (Facilities for heating, cooling, ventilation and humidity control shall be maintained in good working condition and operated when necessary for the health and comfort of occupants.)
  • Ventilation (HVAC equipment shall have the capacity to maintain indoor relative humidity at or below 60 percent.)
  • Air Sealing (Openings into dwellings and dwelling units shall be sealed to limit uncontrolled air movement.)
  • Moisture Prevention and Control (Every foundation, roof,exterior wall, door,skylight, and window shall be water tight, weather tight, free of moisture and dampness.
  • Chemical and Radiological Agents such as Asbestos, Lead Based Paint, Radon, Toxic Substances in Manufactured Building Materials, Pesticides, Smoke in Multifamily Housing.

These are just a simple guidelines that can be found in the full text of NCHH that can be found here. The National Healthy Housing Standard can benefit how new construction homes will be built in compliance with healthy housing standards and help occupants understand the importance of maintaing a healthy indoor environment. Decreasing modern diseases like asthma, cancer and other injuries is top priority so that our communities can live in a healthy environment.

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