FIGURE 2-1 Time spent in the home by children younger than 12 years.

SOURCE: Data from Wiley et al. (1991).

and injuries, as well as the roles of overcrowding and special problems in rural housing. Although there are numerous possible structural deficits in low-income housing, we do not discuss these in depth except to the extent that they are related to the above health issues, which are the major areas of housing health hazards research. We then discuss the disparities in risk among children, which leads to the final section that presents our conclusion about housing and health.


The state of knowledge about housing health hazards varies widely. For example, there are decades of research on the effects of lead, including the accepted finding that lead in house paint is a leading cause of lead poisoning, while the effects of exposure to pesticides in the home is a relatively new field of study with few definitive findings. Furthermore, even for recognized hazards, strategies to mitigate them effectively continue to evolve.

Asthma Triggers

Asthma is the most prevalent and disabling environmental health problem among children, afflicting more then 4 million children in the United

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