Home Health Best practices for environmental health : environmental pollution, protection, quality and sustainability
Substandard housing conditions include poorly maintained housing and structural hazards such as: deteriorating walls, floors, ceilings with cracks and holes appearing; hazardous electrical and mechanical equipment; leaking pipes and leaking plumbing fixtures; mold and mildew; poor weather protection; infiltration of external air pollution; deteriorating and crumbling plaster, peeling paint and other coatings; and fire hazards from defective and/or poorly maintained equipment. There are frequent problems with: leaking roofs, walls, windows, doors; loose railings and loose steps; unsafe and improperly operating lights and wiring; inoperative or poorly maintained heaters and hot water heaters; and adequate supply of hot and cold running water. In some areas flooding or potential flooding is a great concern. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are frequently either lacking or not operable.
Poor basic sanitation in areas of high population density and poor housing conditions is one of the contributors to the spread of disease and the increase of injury in the people living there. Basic sanitation refers to the quality and quantity of water supply, disposal of human waste and wastewater, solid and hazardous waste storage and disposal, control of insects and rodents, use of pesticides, personal hygiene, preparation and storage of food including refrigeration, and cleanliness of the structure.
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