Environment and Housing Quality

Where people live, the quality of their housing, the places where their children play, and other factors may expose them to pollutants and significant health risks, such as lung disease, lead poisoning, cancer, reproductive impacts, birth defects, headaches, and more. These risks may be associated with nearby land uses, previous activities on a site, building materials, housing quality, and crowding. While water and air are the primary conveyances for pollutants, exposure can also occur through contaminated soil and direct exposure to toxins and chemicals in the home or workplace environments.

Design for Health (DFH) Materials

Web Sites

  • World Health Organization
    The WHO web site on housing and health has terrific information about housing and thermal comfort, mental health, aging, home safety, indoor air quality, and physical activity.
  • Centers for Disease Control
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  Healthy housing reference manual was updated in 2006 and is available for download.

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