(Washington, DC) — The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) recently launched the city’s first Healthy Homes program, designed to identify and assess environmental health threats to children and pregnant women and provide customized solutions to eliminate them. Through this program, DDOE will evaluate 100 hazardous homes with children, 18 years and under, who have been hospitalized with asthma, and an additional 100 homes with at-risk children or pregnant women.
Asthma, the disorder caused by inflammation in the airways that lead to the lungs, affects more than 26 million Americans, ratcheting up an estimated $18 billion per year in health care costs, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (2012).
In the District of Columbia, more than 400 children are hospitalized because of asthma problems each year.
Many of these children’s severe asthma problems result from exposure to environmental hazards such as mold, major infestations of rodents and insects, poor ventilation and allergens that trigger asthma attacks in the home.
Other hazards identified and mitigated through this program include carbon monoxide, lead and asbestos. Though such hazards have historically been addressed through a variety of District agency programs, this is the first time the District has engaged in a consolidated, holistic approach.
To access the interactive webpage, visit www.dchealthyhomes.com