Habitat for Humanity of Orange County hosted a housing and health panel Wednesday to discuss the safety and health risks posed in some United States homes.
Habitat said, 45 percent of U.S. homes exhibit a health or safety risk, such as mold, broken stairs or windows and exposure to lead and other toxic chemicals.
This discussion was the first of a panel series, called Home is the Key, which is being hosted in celebration of its 35th anniversary. The series will continue through October and November with two more panel discussions.
“I would say it affects almost all of the patients that I see in one way or another,” said Dr. Ceila Loughlin, medical director of the N.C. Children’s Allergy & Asthma Center. “Mold is a big one, but then cockroaches and rodents can also affect children with asthma.”
Krishnaveni Balakrishnan, coordinator for the Orange County Health Department's Healthy Homes initiative, is a certified inspector who conducts house visits. Balakrishnan said during these inspections, she searches for potential health hazards, such as mold, improper drainage, pests and vermin as well as wet spots on the ceiling.