Healthy Homes

What is a Healthy Home?

Housing conditions can significantly affect the health of residents and the public. Some issues that have been associated with more than 6 million substandard housing units nationwide, include childhood lead poisoning, fatal and non-fatal injuries, respiratory diseases such as asthma, and poor quality of life issues. A healthy home is made-up of seven principles including being well-maintained, pest-free, clean, dry, safe, well-ventilated, and contaminant free. Whether you live in a newly constructed home or one built over 100 years ago, if these principles are applied your house will be a healthy place to live and to call home.

Seven Principles of a Healthy Home

Keep Me Maintained: 
Poorly maintained homes are at-risk for fall and trip injuries, moisture intrusion, and pest problems. Deteriorated paint in older housing (pre-1978) can present a lead-based paint hazard. Despite recent knowledge regarding the hazards of exposure to lead-based paint, each year 1,100 to 1,500 children are newly diagnosed with lead poisoning.

Keep Me Pest-Free: Pests, such as cockroaches and mice are not only asthma triggers but they can also contaminate food and destroy property. Each year, Americans use more than a billion pounds of pesticides to address pest issues within their home. However, the application of pesticides to treat cockroaches, mice, and bed bugs may exacerbate health problems and could lead to poisoning if not properly applied. Approximately, every 13 seconds in the U.S., a poison control center receives a call about a potential poisoning, of which more than 90% occur in the home.

Keep Me Clean: Clutter provides food and harborage for some pests and can present a trip hazard in the home. Among the pests that present in cluttered homes are dust mites, which may trigger asthma.

Keep Me Dry: Damp houses provide a nuturing environment for mites, rodents, roaches, and mold, all of which can be asthma triggers.

Keep Me Safe: Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0 to 19. Everyday, approximately 8,000 children in the U.S.are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries; which, adds-up to approximately 2.8 million children a year.

Keep Me Ventilated: Increasing the fresh air supply in a home, helps improve respiratory health.

Keep Me Contaminant-Free: Chemical exposures include radon, carbon monoxide, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, and environmental tobacco smoke.

Healthy Homes Assessment

The Healthy Homes Branch of Linn County Public Health provides a healthy home assessment conducted by a qualified healthy homes inspector. The inspector will evaluate the interior and exterior quality of your home to identify potential problem areas that need to be addressed. For information on what the inspector looks for, see the Minimum Housing Pre-Inspection Checklist. To request services, submit a "Request for Environmental Services" form to Linn County Public Health.

For additional information on healthy homes please refer to our official website, which can be found at:

Contact Information

Office Phone: (319) 892-6000 ask to be directed to a Healthy Homes Specialist
Fax: (319) 892-6099