May/June 2018
In This Issue
State Stories - Alaska and Louisiana
  Topics of the Month - IAQ and Hazardous Products
DirectorDirector's Update

In less than a week, HHP will be participating in the 2018 National Healthy Homes Month (NHHM). June has been set aside to address making homes healthier by looking at all the fundamentals. This includes communicating to families the importance of home assessments and making them aware of the 8 principles of a healthy home. This all-inclusive approach in our outreach helps families understand that the healthiest homes are ones where all of the fundamentals are considered and good practices are implemented. The theme this year is Check Your Home, Protect Your Family.

As part of the month's activities, HHP will again team with HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes in providing webinars for stakeholders that address this theme, with a special focus on under-representative groups such as Native American communities, families with income challenges, and middle school students. See below for info on the webinars. If you miss one, don't worry - we always record them and post them on our website.

Also, stakeholders and organizations should download the NHHM Toolkit. The Toolkit has a wide range of materials for your organization to use in promoting NHHM. A link to the toolkit is provided here.

Stakeholders should also consider attending the NEHA/HUD National Healthy Homes Conference June 25 - 28, in Anaheim, CA. If you attend, please stop by and see me to say hello and let me know what great activities you are planning.

Michael Goldschmidt, National Director - Healthy Homes Partnership
USDA NIFA HH Happenings
Greetings from Washington, DC, US Dept. of Agriculture, National Institute of Food & Agriculture.

You can get daily updates and news from Washington. Sign up for NIFA news, information, updates, and publications to keep abreast of what is happening! 
The USDA NIFA fiscal year 2018 Interagency Agreement (IAA) with U.S. Housing & Urban Development, Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes is in process. I will send an email to the listserv as soon as funding can be announced for the Healthy Homes Partnership.
Visit the newly developed Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) website.  Materials developed for Extension Educators include the  Family Preparedness curriculum,   Surviving a Disaster course, Webinars, and other courses.
Keep up-to-date with funding opportunities from NIFA; apply for funding to expand your programs. Last, please feel free to contact me at with your ideas, comments, and feedback about Housing & Environmental Health programs.

Beverly Samuel, NIFA - Division of Family & Consumer Sciences (DFCS), National Program Leader

HUDHUD HH Happenings
Webinar Program for National Healthy Homes Month, June 2018
HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes
All Times Eastern

Welcome to the National Healthy Homes Month Webinar Program  offered by HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) and the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, National Healthy Homes Partnership. We're glad to have expert presenters and a balanced mix of topics, to appeal to a wide range of stakeholders and partners.
The webinars support NHHM's theme of Unlocking the Potential of America's Children: Check Your Home, Protect Your Family. See the schedule of webinars and descriptions in the Upcoming Events section of this newsletter
For updates to these webinars and to get other information about National Healthy Homes Month, please visit OLHCHH's website.


You must register for each webinar you plan to attend. Registration is limited to the first 500 registrants, so please plan on registering early. Once you have registered, you will receive confirmation by email, including instructions for connecting to the webinar on the day of the event. If you have any technical questions or concerns about registering for, or attending a webinar, please contact Michael Goldschmidt . We look forward to your attendance and participation at our webinars!
HHP State Stories

As one might imagine, when living in an area (interior Alaska) that usually sees several weeks of -40 or -50 degrees in January and February, the main concern IS...indoor air and moisture control. To be ready for winter, people know to insulate, insulate and insulate the home -- but they don't always know to VENTILATE as well. Many homes experience freezing and condensation, especially in April when the temperature swings 40 degrees between night and day below and above zero.

This is why one of the most frequent questions I get are about mold and mildew. (Granted, some are from the coastal area with a maritime climate, but others are from areas with an ambient relative humidity below 30!). Thus, indoor air quality, insulation and ventilation related questions are wrapped around mold. This involves half of the healthy home 8 principals: keep it dry, keep it well ventilated, keep it contaminant free, and keep it comfortable (thermal control)!

As of late, while continuing to answer these questions I have been working on revision of the Help Yourself to a (Tribal) Healthy Home materials, which are almost a decade old. There has been much input from EPA, HUD, Indian Health Services and representatives of tribal healthy homes non-profits. We are now looking at 4 products of shorter length for various types of tribal consumers (residents, housing managers, health providers and tribal decision makers). The writing is in process with a draft review anticipated in the summer. I'll update the newsletter as we progress!

Art Nash, Energy Specialist, School of Natural Resources and Extension - University of Alaska Fairbanks

In 2018, La.HHP is continuing to produce Healthy Homes Highlights newsletter s for educators and collaborators - to share ideas, new findings and resources to help all of us strengthen our expertise and programs. What's new is that HHH has a new writer, Haley Moore, who is bringing a fresh style with her creative writing background. Feel free to share this newsletter with colleagues and invite them to subscribe.

Beyond that, La.'s primary program plan and delivery strategy is "piggybacking". Healthyhome principles and practices are infused into both disaster/resilience and energy efficiency outreach materials, exhibits, web content, social media messages and industry training programs (Lead-safe Certified Renovator and Mold Remediation). This serves to expand reach to people whose primary interest or info search is in any of those topics.

Two primary piggybacking mechanisms this year include:
  • Flood-hardy (resilient) restoration - The FAQ's - After Gutting Your Flooded Home web content has been viewed by nearly 25,000 thus far since its posting following the 2016 and 2017 floods in La. and Texas. In the last year, Claudette Reichel, Housing Specialist, has been an invited speaker on this topic at 5 national conferences, planting the seed of resilience in the minds of more than 1,000 housing industry professionals. Lead and mold control are key concepts included.
  • LaHouse 10-year Anniversary - A team of supporters has developed a celebration plan designed to generate industry engagement, publicity and greater public awareness of LaHouse Resource Center and the benefits of healthy, resilient, high-performance homes that people can learn about through visiting the demonstration house exhibits, website, Facebook and YouTube channel.
TopicOfMonthTopic of the Month: IAQ & Hazardous Products

Keep it Ventilated!

The most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions. Source control should always be top priority.

However, since so many common materials and products off-gas, it's still important to dilute the concentrations of indoor air pollutants with the right amount of outdoor air.

When assessing a home for ventilation, check to see if the important stationary sources have effective exhaust ventilation and whether there is enough general dilution ventilation.

Local exhausts are easy enough to check -- are they there, do they work? Try the toilet paper test. if it the tissue doesn't cling, the exhaust isn't adequate. This is often due to poor installation of the exhaust ductwork.

Because most residential buildings assume that operation of the local exhausts, wind and stack air flows, and operable windows provide enough general ventilation, it is more difficult to assess general ventilation. The simplest way to get an idea is to ask whether odors linger, windows fog during cold weather, or does the air seem stale?

Ventilation reduces air contaminant levels in two different ways:
  1. If contaminants are released from a point source, a local exhaust system can be used to collect the contaminants before they spread throughout the building.
  2. Outdoor air with low contaminant levels can be drawn or blown into the building and mixed with the indoor air through a whole house ventilation system, lowering the concentration by dilution. The contaminant leaves the building in the exhaust air.
By using ventilation or conditioning air to manage pressure differences, the airflow through a building can be planned to minimize exposures in the most efficient way. Local exhaust ventilation (used when needed) is more efficient than dilution ventilation because it collects the contaminant near the source and intervenes in the transport mechanism.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Educate for these simple steps:

1. Don't use if you don't have to.

2. Substitute a better product.
Consider the risks for contaminants released by the product itself, the use and maintenance of the product, and how badly can things go wrong in the event of an accident. Substitute with a product that has:

  • low VOC and particle emission
  • low toxicity and irritancy characteristics
  • low risk of chemical reactivity
  • low risk of fungal contamination
  • low maintenance requirements
3. Store materials properly.
  • keep containers sealed
  • store away from air intake
  • remove unwanted products from home
4. Ventilate.
SocialSnacksSocial Snacks

Here are short posting ideas on the topic of the month that you can use in your social media outreach to consumers. 


PLEASE FEED ME!   If you use social media for HH outreach, please send us your posts that produce big  reach  numbers  to share in a future newsletter.
You can use preventative cleaning habits instead of methods that require hazardous household products, such as:
  • using plungers to unclog drains instead of drain cleaners
  • fixing leaks to keep areas dry to prevent mold
  • using fly swatters instead of sprays
  • weeding gardens by hand to prevent using pesticides
  • storing food in tightly sealed containers

Bleach is the ONLY WAY to remove mold.

False! It can kill mold but scrubbing with warm soapy water and drying completely afterwards can also clean up mold and is less toxic. Also, bleach only kills mold -- but even dead mold must be eliminated because dead mold spores are allergy and asthma triggers.
Eco-Healthy Child CareĀ® Online Course
In this course, learners will discover how children are exposed to the ubiquity of chemicals in their everyday environments and why these exposures are concerning. While the course is eligible for continuing education credit, it is also perfect for parents and caregivers wanting to create a healthy home environment. 

Enroll in the 3-hour Eco-Healthy Child CareĀ® Protecting Children's Environmental Health course and learn easy tips for making your child care facility safer and healthier for just $30! 
GOT NEWS?  Send it  to us! Share any  news and resources of interest to other HHP partners!

Next Issue's Topics: Mold & Moisture

Read about children's unique vulnerabilities to air pollution and the primary threats to our nation's air quality, and compare levels of ozone and particle pollution across counties as reported in the 19th annual "State of the Air", published by the American Lung Association.
Visit  The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website for  an in-depth We st N ile virus guide , including prevention and protection techniques, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments, statistics, maps, and links to other resources.
As the weather heats up, insects come out! Visit the EPA website to learn about  pesticide worker safety , find  tips about choosing and using mosquito repellent , find pesticide registration manual application forms , and download the Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings manual.
A fact sheet by the US Department of the Interior provides the least toxic alternatives to DEET.
The HUD  Healthy Homes Basics mobile app  offers practical how-to guidance on how to have a safe and healthy home, right at your fingertips. The app offers introductory information and guidance for consumers by teaching the "Principles of a Healthy Home." For those users more familiar with healthy homes concepts, the app features detailed information by topic. It's available on Apple, iTunes, and Google Play app stores.
Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home consumer action guide is the updated and shortened HHP publication that replaces Help Yourself to a Healthy Home. For each HH subtopic is a brief description of the Hazard, Health Effects and Source along with a checklist of actions to take to protect health. The new 12-page format can be economically printed, and has a checklist that can be duplicated on a single sheet of paper for mass distribution. This resources can be used in conjunction with lesson plans available in the Healthy Homes toolkit.
Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home stakeholder guide is a 40-page publication designed for professionals that serve families through consultation or outreach. This guide can be used to educate, assess, advocate, train, and set standards and policy on healthy homes for their organizations. This resources can be used in conjunction with lesson plans available in the Healthy Homes toolkit.
The HUD website is a valuable source of information and links to upcoming healthy home events, news, resources, programs, popular topics and more -- including the Healthy Home Basics mobile app and educational videos.
The HUD Healthy Homes Disaster Recovery Toolkit is available online as a free PDF. Contents include links to recovery and response videos, the Rebuild Healthy Homes how-to guidebook, fact sheets for consumers, stakeholders and pros in English and Spanish, HUD contacts and more. 

Presenter: Jayne Windham, Training Partner from Healthy Homes Training Center, Healthy Housing Solutions, Inc.  
June 5 1:00-2:00 pm EDT
Target Audience: Healthy Homes practitioners and Healthy Homes Program Staff, OLHCHH Grantees, and diverse stakeholders.  
This webinar will cover the types of interventions that can be performed by the property owner and residents, as well as the sources for federal, state and local resources and low-cost supplies and services. The webinar will be hosted by the Healthy Homes Training Network.
Webinar ID: 777-372-515

Presenters: Maureen Lichtveld, M.D., MPH, Professor and Chair of Environmental Policy, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Ray Lopez, Director of Programs, LSA Family Family Health Service
June 7 2:00-3:00 pm EDT
Target Audience: Stakeholders; including, housing educators, healthcare professionals, community action agencies, state, county, and city health department staff, and others.
This session will examine key indoor environmental hazards including those related to natural and technological disasters, strategies to protect vulnerable populations, and the specific roles community health workers can play in enabling healthy homes and improving environmental health literacy.
Webinar ID: 962-168-707

Presenters: Michael Goldschmidt and Art Nash, USDA NIFA, Healthy Homes Partnership
June 11 2:00-3:00 pm EDT
Target Audience:  Stakeholders and ultimately, Native American families; through various intermediaries.
AN overview of the Tribal Healthy Homes outreach initiative will be provided, focusing on OLHCHH-USDA NIFA-NGO developed publications; social media, channels of dissemination and other components; and new partnerships developed or being developed as result of this effort. The OLHCHH/HHP 2016  Everyone Deserves A Safe and Healthy Home  consumer publication is the basis for the revamping of the 2007 tribal publication, with input being gathered from Subject Matter Experts, stakeholders, and end users.
Webinar ID: 127-935-851

Presenter: Sarah Kirby, USDA NIFA, Healthy Homes Partnership
June 12  2:00-3:00 pm EDT
Target Audience: Extension educators, OLHCHH grantees, a wide range of stakeholders and others.
In the first module of the Healthy Homes curriculum for Middle Schoolers, students learn about the 8 Principles of Healthy Homes as well as potential healthy homes hazards.  They then transform that knowledge into action using a home assessment assignment.
Youth are asked to take this home assessment to their home, and with an adult, to assess their living environment in terms of indoor air quality, asthma and allergies, mold and moisture, carbon monoxide, lead, radon, water quality, and home safety. They are also asked to work with an adult to see what kinds of changes can be made to make their home healthier. Additional modules focus on more in-depth information on home hazards and actions steps for addressing those hazards and improving the healthfulness of the home.
Webinar ID: 457-561-379
Presenter: Gina Peek, USDA NIFA Healthy Homes Partnership
June 18 2:00-3:00 pm EDT
Target Audience: USDA Extension and other educators and stakeholders.
This webinar will present a beta version of a youth smartphone app based on the  Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home  consumer publication. Research studies have indicated the
power of children's knowledge to impact their parents' behavior. Some youth organizations, including 4-H, have used this model.
Webinar ID: 737-740-651

Presenter: Claudette Hanks Reichel, Ed.D, LSU AgCenter, La. Extension service Housing Specialist, Director of LaHouse Resource Center, USDA NIFA, Healthy Homes Partnership
June 20 2:00-3:00 pm EDT
Target Audience: Stakeholders and partners in disaster recovery and rebuilding; disaster survivors.
Scope:  Natural disasters have happened in every region of the United States.  Natural hazards can't be stopped, but the public can protect their homes and avoid the devastating expense, ordeal, health hazards and displacement that a damaged home can cause. This webinar will shed light on the most cost-effective defensive features that can protect our homes, health and wellbeing, from destructive winds, floods and wildfires. Inspect a current or prospective home for the top 5 defenses for each hazard risk in a region, then make a wise investment by adding the missing feature s.
Webinar ID: 680-753-227

Presenter: Dion Lerman, Penn State, PA IPM Program, Philadelphia Hoarding T ask Force, Pennsylvania State University State IPM Program, Trainer in the Healthy Homes Training Center Network
June 27  1:00-2:00 pm EDT 
Target Audience: Healthy Homes Practitioners, OLHCHH Grantees, and a wide range of resident support organizations.
This webinar identifies specific problems associated with hoarding, including typical behaviors, impairments in functioning, especially with regard to health risks and housing problems, and consequences of hoarding. Defines a scale to determine the severity of the hoarding situation; and recommends actions and referrals to HH person to get help for the resident.
Webinar ID: 807-043-811

Conferences and other events:
Dr. Ben Carson is kicking off NHHM at the symposium, with keynote speaker Dr. Ira Goldstein, President of Policy Solutions for Reinvestment Fund City planners, community officials, nonprofits, researchers, students, advocates, and other professionals whose work relates to health and housing are welcome to register for this symposium.

NEHA 2018 AEC and HUD Healthy Homes Conference June 25-28, 2018 in Anaheim, CA. 
The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) have joined forces on a  joint conference as the nexus for environmental health education, training, networking and career advancement.   Visit  in the coming months for registration details and additional agenda information.

2018 Association of Asthma Educators Annual Conference Assembling the Puzzle of Asthma Education and Treatment - July 20-22, 2018 in Phoenix, AZ. 
The 2018 Annual Conference program will encompass a full spectrum of asthma-related topics from strategies for motivational interviewing, trigger recognition and home visitation programs, to biologics and genetics. Additional details can be found in the online AAE newsletter.

Housing Education and Research Association's (HERA) Annual Conference  Lessons from History: Revisiting the Past with a look to the Future October 7-10 in Savannah, GA. 
HERA's annual international conference features presentations of peer-reviewed abstracts, posters and keynote speakers in an atmosphere that fosters intellectual growth and development.

Extension Disaster Education Network Annual Meeting  - October 16-19, 2018  in College Station, TX. 
EDEN links Extension educators from across the U.S. and various disciplines, enabling them to use, share, and produce resources to reduce the impact of disasters. At the annual meeting, delegates share best practices, developing research, and showcase projects that have been completed throughout the year.

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Good Health Starts at Home  builds upon the Healthy Homes initiatives and partnership of the United States Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Healthy Homes and lead Hazard Control (HUD) that address housing-based health and safety risks. Its network of state coordinators have partnered with state agencies, medical professionals, schools, and community groups to educate families on home health hazards.

Healthy Homes Highlights is produced by LSU AgCenter's LaHouse Resource Center. Authors: Claudette Hanks Reichel, Professor and Extension Housing Specialist, and Haley Moore, LaHouse Program Assistant.