UGA Extension Office

Housing

                                            8 Ways to Make your Home Healthier

A Healthy Home is one that provides a safe, sufficient, and sanitary living space in order to prevent disease and injury.  According to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Healthy Homes, substandard living conditions can lead to several negative health effects such as respiratory illness, reproductive issues, neurological disorders, and accidental injury.

What should you do?

To prevent negative health effects, take these steps:

  • Keep your home DRY 
  • Keep your home CLEAN
  • Keep your home VENTILATED
  • Keep your home PEST-FREE
  • Keep your home SAFE
  • Keep your home CONTAMINANT-FREE
  • Keep your home MAINTAINED
  • Keep your home GREEN

For more information, please visit the UGA Greenway Page

Additional Resources:

 

Radon

Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that can cause lung cancer. It occurs naturally when uranium breaks down to radium which in turn breaks down to form radon. Radon is released into the soil and easily enters your home through the foundation and well water. It can build up to dangerous levels inside houses, schools, and other buildings. The only way to know if you have radon is to test.

Why is radon a problem?

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after tobacco smoke. Radon kills nearly 21,000 people each year, more than 800 of them in Georgia. Smokers are at an even higher risk of radon-induced lung cancer than nonsmokers by 7%.

Testing for Radon in Air

If you live in Georgia you can purchase a radon test kit from a local retailer or order one from UGA Extension (via mail and online).

 


Extension Publications
  • Your Household Water Quality: Odors in Your Water (C 1016) Homeowners sometimes experience unpleasant odors in their household water. In many cases, the exact cause of the odor is difficult to determine by water testing; however, this publication provides a few general recommendations for treating some common causes of household water odors.
  • Water Quality and Common Treatments for Private Drinking Water Systems (B 939) An abundant supply of clean, safe drinking water is essential for human and animal health. Water from municipal or public water systems is treated and monitored to ensure that it is safe for human consumption. Many Georgia residents, especially in rural areas, rely on private water systems for human and livestock consumption. Most private water systems are supplied by wells. Water from wells in Georgia is generally safe for consumption without treatment. Some waters, however, may contain disease-causing organisms that make them unsafe to drink. Well waters may also contain large amounts of minerals, making them too “hard” for uses such as laundering, bathing or cooking. Some contaminants may cause human health hazards and others can stain clothing and fixtures, cause objectionable tastes and odors, or corrode pipes and other system components.
  • Disinfecting Your Well Water: Shock Chlorination (C 858-4) Shock chlorination is the process by which home water systems such as wells, springs, and cisterns are disinfected using household liquid bleach (or chlorine). Shock chlorination is the most widely recommended means of treating bacterial contamination in home water systems. This publication contains guidelines for safely and effectively using shock chlorination -- a standard treatment for sanitizing your well system.
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