Environmental hazards in the home harm millions of children each year. Maintaining a healthy home and living environment is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and the welfare of your family. Both landlords and their tenants must work together in order to achieve healthy living spaces that avoid causing illness, nuisances or violations.

Basic principles

Keep these in mind whenever thinking about making changes or improvements, or just during the general upkeep of your home. Your healthy home should be:

  1. Dry
  2. Clean
  3. Safe
  4. Ventilated
  5. Pest-free
  6. Maintained
  7. Contaminant-free

Home hazards

Applying these basic principles in your house or apartment can help prevent many home health hazards and work to make your living space better.


Mold can make you ill and will worsen asthma symptoms. Avoid mold by eliminating excess moisture and humidity in your home. You can do this by making sure your home is both dry and ventilated properly. Read more about preventing mold.

Home safety

Avoid injuries caused by falling, drowning, fires, poisoning, suffocation, choking or other accidents. These disasters can be prevented by upholding the quality of your home appliances, fire alarms, railings, light fixtures, and stairs. Your home should also be poison-proofed or contaminant-free in general.


Any amount of secondhand smoke in any amount is harmful for those exposed to it. Second hand smoke also triggers asthma, a serious lung disease from which about 20 million Americans suffer. Find out how to quit smoking.

Another trigger of asthma is smoke from fireplaces. 

Lead Poisoning

Can occur when children or adults ingest dust that contains lead. This often happens in older homes that have lead-based paint. Read more about preventing exposure to lead.

Carbon Monoxide

Can be a fatal contaminant in your home if you are not aware of its presence. This odorless, colorless gas is not easy to detect, so it’s best to learn about its sources so that you can keep it out of your home. Find out more about keeping carbon monoxide out of your home.


Another colorless gas that you may encounter in your home is formaldehyde. In high concentrations, this pungent-smelling gas can trigger asthma attacks. Formaldehyde also causes eye, nose and throat irritation, as well as skin rash, wheezing and coughing. Find out more about where you might find formaldehyde in your home.


Radon is another colorless gas that is radioactive, cancer-causing, tasteless, and odorless. When you breathe air that is contaminated by radon, you are at a high risk for getting lung cancer, especially if you also smoke. Learn about testing for radon and fixing a radon problem.

Cleaning products

Commercial cleaning products often contain irritants that can trigger an asthma episode. Using green cleaning products or cleaners made from common household ingredients such as baking soda, liquid soap and hydrogen peroxide, is another way of keeping your home, your children and the environment safe from harm.


Roaches and rodents can harm your family because they can trigger asthma and allergies. Bed bugs live in dark, protected areas and feed on human and animal blood. Find out more about preventing pests.

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