July/August 2018
In This Issue
State Stories - 
Montana and North Carolina
DirectorDirector's Update

Last month we completed a successful National Healthy Homes Month in cooperation with HUD, USDA, and other agencies. As part of this effort, we held 10 webinars on various Healthy Homes topics, which you can still view on our webpage. We also presented at the national Healthy Homes HHP Conference in Anaheim on our smartphone apps and youth curriculum.

For the next few months we'll use social media and outreach to communities affected by disasters to provide recovery information related to healthy homes. Don't forget that there is both a pdf guide and smartphone app that your organization can use in these efforts.

Finally, if you're part of a land grant university, or partner with one, note that the next round of Healthy Homes Partnership (HHP) grants will be available soon. These are small $14,000 to $18,000 grants to help enhance state Healthy Homes programs as well as participate in national HHP outreach. We hope to expand the number of states participating this year to include some that have not participated before. Look for a Request for Proposals in early August. The submitting organization must be a land-grant university but can include other partners.

Michael Goldschmidt, National Director - Healthy Homes Partnership
USDA NIFA HH Happenings
Greetings from Washington, DC, US Dept. of Agriculture, National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA).
University of Missouri will continue national coordination of the Healthy Homes Partnership (HHP) over the next four years, pending final approval of all NIFA requirements and available annual funding. There is an increase in funding for FY 2018 from $225,000 to $315,000. 

The HHP has done a fantastic job of executing project deliverables for the Interagency Agreement USDA NIFA has with US Housing and Urban Development Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. Michael Goldschmidt will be working with sub grantees to enhance the current work and expand efforts. 

Thank you to the entire team of Healthy Homes partners for your commitment and quality work!   Your impacts help us to illustrate to the American people how research, education and extension are improving lives. Partner with NIFA to highlight your discoveries and accomplishments. Follow @USDA_NIFA and Tweet us your stories using #NIFAIMPACTS or email IMPACTSTORIES@NIFA.USDA.gov.

Kee p up-to-date with funding opportunities from NIFA and apply for funding to expand your programs. Lastly, please feel free to contact me at bsamuel@nifa.usda.gov with your ideas, comments, and feedback about Housing & Environmental Health programs.    

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

HHP State Stories


The Problem Although the HHP curricula toolkit is designed for Extension educators, the majority of county agents in Montana have not yet utilized it. There are multiple reasons for this, however the primary ones are: 1) most Montana Extension educators are agriculture-related agents, and 2) most Montana family and consumer sciences agents focus on food and nutrition, not housing or environmental health. Many conversations revealed that few feel comfortable presenting Healthy Homes (HH) content. With a very limited travel budget, raising the knowledge and comfort level among these agents has been challenging.

To address these barriers: Montana State University Extension - Housing & Environmental Health Program has been utilizing existing professional development opportunities that allow HH content to reach these agents at no cost or hassle. 


HH was inserted into statewide Extension annual conferences. Traditionally, housing and environmental health-related tracks were not on the agenda. By strongly conveying the need for Healthy Homes info and resources in Montana, this topic is now given time both at the annual Extension conference, as well as at the bi-annual Family & Consumer Sciences Update, a statewide conference. 


As a result, there's been an increase of HH knowledge as well as an increase in agents' confidence levels when asked questions by the general public. With this increased knowledge and confidence, I foresee Montana Extension agents utilizing our valuable HHP toolkit in the future. Stay tuned...

Barbara Allen - Environmental Health Program Manager, Montana State University Extension
North Carolina

The North Carolina HHP highlighted National Healthy Homes Month (NHHM) both on its webpage and through its Twitter outreach. On the NC Healthy Homes website, HHP materials were used to create a series of articles on principles of a healthy home. Via Twitter, the NHHM toolkit was used to engage audiences with HH content, resulting in 4,389 impressions over the month.
The Healthy Homes Middle School curriculum continues to draw interest of practitioners and educators across the nation. Currently, topics include HH Principles, Radon, Lead, Water Quality, and Asthma. 
  • In May, the curriculum was shared at the HUD Healthy Homes Grantees Training Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. 
  • As a part of NHHM, the NC team presented a webinar on the curriculum to an audience of 229 people. This curriculum is now housed on a moodle site
  • In June, the program team conducted a workshop focused on teaching the next generation HH principles with attendees of the National Environmental Health Association and HUD Healthy Homes Conference in Anaheim, California. 
  • The project is adding two new modules addressing Carbon Monoxide and Home Safety that are currently under development and review and will be unveiled by the end of the year. 
  • Finally, this fall, 4-H agents across NC will be trained to use curriculum. 
In August, the NC HHP program will partner with the NC Radon Program to host a webinar for real estate professionals and their commissions to discuss radon education. This is a continuation of the strong partnership of NC HHP with the NC Radon program to promote radon education and testing among consumers and real estate professionals.

Sarah D. Kirby, Ph.D. - Department Extension Leader, North Carolina State University
TopicOfMonthTopic of the Month: Mold & Moisture

Environmental Mold Remediation Guidance from EPA
  • Step 1: Diminish Moisture In the Home or Work Environment
Lessen leaks and moistu re migration into the building envelope (roof, walls, floors and basement) and leaks from the building's plumbing system. Make sure that heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system drip pans are clean and clear.
  • Step 2: Keep Low Indoor Humidity

The relative humidity (RH) of the indoor air and the ventilation system should be below 60%. Ideally, RH should be kept at 30-50% because at an RH of 50% or more, hydroscopic dust will absorb water that may allow the growth of fungi and house dust mites on indoor surfaces.

  • Step 3: Clean/Remove Mold-Damaged Building Materials, Furnishings, and Other Items
Remove and discard porous building materials, furnishings, and other items that have been made wet repeatedly or subject to long periods of dampness. Water-damaged ceiling tiles and mattresses are examples of porous materials that should be removed. In some cases, restoration and water damage professionals can clean valuable porous items such as treasured books or upholstered furnishings. Care should be taken to not contaminate clean environments during the removal of contaminated materials.

Homes with water damage caused by flooding will require extensive cleanup. 
Mold on non-porous building materials (tubs, ceramic tile, etc.) and solid wood can be cleaneds
with  water and mild detergent on a damp wipe. EPA warns that the use of biocides and household chemicals such as chlorine bleach are not recommended as a routine practice for mold cleanup.

Protection While Removing Mold or Cleaning Contaminated Materials

When a healthcare provider has concerns that exposure to mold has aff ected a patient's health, it is especially important  the patient be cautioned and provided guidance on personal protection and containment practices that should be followed while removing or cleaning mold-contaminated materials. Because mold remediation involves exposure to mold spores, individuals other than the patie nt should do the cleanup.  

Mold remediators and all building occupants should be protected from exposure to mold with personal protection. At a minimum, a fitted respirator with N95 filter protection, eye protection, and gloves should be worn when small mold remediation projects are undertaken. Larger projects require more respiratory protection and work practices that separate the area contaminated with mold from other spaces (full containment).

Indoor Air Quality During Renovation

When construction or renovation activities are planned to address mold and moisture damage in occupied buildings, it's crucial to minimize exposure for the occupants. Practices include segregating the construction area, directing air movement away from the occupied area, minimizing dust, and establishing a level of monitoring.

See HUD's Rebuild Healthy Homes - Guide to Post-disaster Restoration for a Safe and Healthy Home  (available as a free online pdf and mobile app) for consumer-friendly, credible information about mold hazards, mold myths, and do-it-your mold removal steps.
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.
Simply killing mold does not eliminate the health effects.  Allergens, and sometimes toxins, are still present -- even in dead mold. It's best to remove the mold.

But methods matter! Removing a moldy wall can spread millions of spores throughout your home/business if it's not contained, spreading the hazard. Learn more at www.epa.gov/mold. 

Mold always causes health problems.

False!   Mold can definitely cause health effects, but not all mold exposures   cause health problems for everyone. Molds produce allergens, and while some people are allergic to them, not everyone will have the same reaction. Those effects can be different depending on ones' sensitivity to mold, the species of mold, the amount of exposure and other risk factors.

July is Climate Change and Children's Health Month!
The American Public Health Association's (APHA) Children's Environmental Health Committee has partnered with CEHN to promote the Children's Environmental Health Movement. This month,  APHA's Newswire highlighted the Movement's July theme on climate change by sharing how climate change will specifically impact children.
HUD Public Housing Smoke-Free Policy Deadline is July 31
A new HUD rule requires all public housing agencies to implement smoke-free policies by July 31, 2018. Compliance is expected to help prevent secondhand smoke exposure indoors, improve health and safety for residents, visitors and staff, and lower overall maintenance costs. For questions about secondhand smoke or smoke-free multifamily housing, send an email to the healthyindoorair address here.
GOT NEWS?  Send it  to us! Share any  news and resources of interest to other HHP partners!

Next Issue's Topics: Lead & Asbestos

Learn about mold hazards, prevention, and remediation guidelines at the  EPA's reso u rc e   p age for mold . The site currently hosts information related to  mold cleanup after a flood  as  well as  moisture control .

Go to the National Flood Insurance Program website to discover your flood risk and what to do about it. Learn how to document damage as well as clean up mold.

This hurricane season, how are you protecting your home or business from the next storm?  Check out disastersafety.org  to learn about methods and certification programs to fortify your home against natural hazards.
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. 

Indoor airPLUS Technical Guidance: IAQ with Effective Heating/Cooling Design and Installation (Webinar)  Thursday, August 23, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT.
Join this webinar to hear ICF's Paul Raymer and EPA's Nick Hurst share how HVAC design and installation can be optimized for a healthier and more comfortable home. Other topics will include how the Indoor airPLUS Program addresses some climate-specific considerations, important aspects of building a healthier home, and related IAQ updates as well as tips, tricks and resources available to help builders market homes with improved IAQ.

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.

EEBA High Performance Home Summit 2018  Building the Future: Solutions for Healthy, Resilient and Affordable High Performance Homes -- Oct. 16-18, 2018 in San Diego, CA
Sessions will present the latest in building science, combined with real-world application and problem-solving. Presentations will cover topics including:

Defining, building and selling a Healthy Home

Resilience in the Built Environment

Impact of Policy, Code and Title 24 on Design and Construction

Building the Home of the Future with Innovation, Cost Efficiencies and Sustainability

Water Efficiency & Conservation


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.