Health Hazards in the Home: An Assessment of a Southern Nevada Community

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Journal of Community Health





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As a sub-grantee of a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Program, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Department of Environmental and Occupational Health performed lead and Healthy Homes investigations and collected data regarding conditions in the home environment in Henderson, Nevada. The purpose of this research is to characterize housing conditions in southern Nevada, compare data to census data, and to highlight the health outcomes associated with adverse housing conditions. Visual home assessments were conducted in 106 homes in southern Nevada, and specific hazards were characterized using the Healthy Homes Rating System. The results were then compared, when possible, to American Housing Survey (AHS) data for the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Lead, domestic hygiene, carbon monoxide, damp and mold, excess cold and heat, and structural collapse were the most frequently identified hazards, found in at least 101 (90%) of participant households. Median household income of program participants was half (50%) that of the surrounding zip code, which was expected, as classification as “low-income” by HUD standards was a requirement for participation. Our data indicated that the AHS data may not be representative of very low income housing in southern Nevada and may underreport actual conditions. In-home inspections performed by trained personnel provide a more accurate picture of conditions than the self-report method used by the AHS. In addition, we recommend the development of a standardized Healthy Homes visual assessment tool to allow for the comparison of housing conditions between communities. © 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.



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