Friday, June 24, 2011

[EQ] Environmental burden of disease associated with inadequate housing

Environmental burden of disease associated with inadequate housing


WHO European Region - 2011

Edited by: Braubach, M., Jacobs, D.E., Ormandy, D.

Available online PDF [237p.] at:



“…….Poverty, poor housing, and poor health are usually linked, and this means that it is difficult to measure health gains from improvements to housing conditions alone. Although there is a need for more sound evidence of the health gains associated with housing interventions, the chapters of this report have shown that inadequate housing conditions are directly and indirectly linked to negative health outcomes.


Inadequate housing conditions most often affect the less wealthy and the disadvantaged, and are therefore most often suffered by the more vulnerable population groups. In addition, those who make the most use of, and most demands on, housing are the very young, the elderly, and the sick, and these are population subgroups most vulnerable to environmental risks. Satisfactory, safe and healthy housing should therefore be a basic requirement for any society.


The environmental burden of disease attributable to inadequate housing in Europe thus more than justifies the introduction of health based housing policies and actions as a means to achieve better housing, and provides clear evidence that housing is an important public health issue.


Housing strategies and policies are complex and include planning and construction to residential use followed by improvement, renovation and reconstruction. This means that strategies and policies for healthy housing need to be comprehensive and need to involve a wide range of professions…..”



Indoor dampness and mould problems in homes and asthma onset in children

Housing conditions and home injury

Household crowding and tuberculosis

Indoor cold and mortality

Traffic noise exposure and ischaemic heart disease

Indoor radon and lung cancer

Residential second-hand smoke exposure and lower respiratory infections asthma, heart disease and lung cancer

Health effects of lead in housing

Household carbon monoxide poisoning

Formaldehyde and respiratory symptoms in children

Indoor smoke from solid fuel use

Housing quality and mental health

Housing improvements and their health effects

Quantifying the economic cost of unhealthy housing – a case study from England

Conclusions and Perspectives

Policy implications


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