Healthy Homes Assessment Overview
Many overlooked public health issues are related to hazardous conditions in the home environment. Potential hazards include poisoning from lead paint; asthma incidents from mold, dust and pests; lung cancer from radon and secondhand smoke; poisonings from carbon monoxide or chemicals in household products; and injuries from burns or falls. Each year two million people in the United States make emergency room visits because of asthma. Additionally, over 13 million non-fatal home injuries occur in the US yearly and nearly 3,000 people die in house fires.
As more is learned about the conditions that contribute to many household health hazards, it is evident that there is a need for a more integrated and coordinated response. While some potential household hazards are regulated by local or national government agencies, it is the goal of this Healthy Homes Assessment to address all of these household issues in a comprehensive and holistic manner.
The Healthy Homes Inspector Certification was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in tandem with the Centers for Disease Control. The development of this program was implemented in response to increased public awareness regarding the detrimental health impacts of sub-standard housing conditions on the US population.
Accordingly, the Healthy Homes program provides a framework for assessing and addressing substandard housing conditions. NVL Labs has augmented the Healthy Homes framework by utilizing the experience gained from many years of investigating and solving indoor environmental quality issues. Additionally, NVL uses real time testing technologies and in-house sampling services to tailor the Healthy Homes assessment to the exact needs and concerns of the client.
NVL Labs is a recognized Industrial Hygiene and Safety consulting firm in the Pacific Northwest with over 16 years experience as an independent testing agency. We have gained recognition by providing hazmat testing and project guidance services to hundreds of homeowners and businesses across the region. We are well known for our professional and comprehensive approach to addressing our clients’ concerns, as well as our ability to deliver understandable technical solutions that work.
We have a number of professional accreditations, including being an American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Accredited Laboratory. Our services and assessments are based on regulatory requirements and professional standards. We also often augment these requirement and standards by using current available technology and by integrating NVL’s experience from many years of investigating health and safety issues.
The Healthy Homes assessment is founded on this key standard:
1. The National Center for Healthy Housing’s Healthy Homes Inspection Protocol
The Healthy Homes Program provides a framework for assessing potential risk factors that may harm health in a residence. Such factors include:
- Indoor mold growth
- Indoor air quality issues
- Pest infestations
- Contaminated drinking water
- Exposure to lead, asbestos, or carbon monoxide
- Household safety hazards and inadequate safety measures
In order to address these risk factors, the Healthy Homes Inspection Protocol implements the following:
- A comprehensive resident interview to gather information about any concerns or problem areas in the home,
- An inspection of the readily accessible house systems including the exterior, building envelope, and HVAC system, and
- A risk management assessment of the safety conditions in areas of the home to identify potential injury hazards.
Additionally, NVL Labs can utilize the following services as part of the Healthy Homes Inspection:
- Mold, asbestos, or lead paint testing
- Real-time monitoring of indoor air quality parameters using a Q-Trak indoor air quality monitor.
The Healthy Homes program emphasizes educating residents and providing them with resources to mitigate household hazards. The inspector will promptly provide a report of all findings, including laboratory testing reports and real-time monitoring data as well as recommendations for correcting any issues that are noted. NVL Labs inspectors will be available to answer any questions or concerns following delivery of the report.