Healthy Homes and Communities
Preventing contact with harmful substances
People can come into contact with harmful substances in their environments, such as toxic metals and mold. Metals can be found in soil, old paint, and some consumer products. Our Healthy Homes and Communities program works with local organizations to inform and educate Californians about harmful metals, mold, and other substances.
We are committed to protecting people from exposure to harmful substances from mercury in imported skin cream and fish, to lead in garden soil or cosmetics, to mold from leaks and other dampness in the home.
When to contact us
Contact us at AskEHIB@cdph.ca.gov if you have a group of community health workers or educators wanting to learn in English or Spanish how to train others to protect themselves from harmful substances in the environment. We can also bring equipment to test certain consumer products and soil for lead or mercury.
Substandard Housing, Mold and Pests
The condition and location of housing affects the health of the people who live inside. A healthy home is a structure that is free from the following substandard housing conditions, as defined in the California Health & Safety Code (Section 17920.3):
- Moisture and mold that can cause or worsen illness or damage personal belongings;
- Pests that can cause illness or are a nuisance;
- Unsafe conditions and poorly maintained plumbing, heating and other systems that can lead to injuries and other problems;
- Unventilated areas that can increase indoor pollutant levels.
It is the owner or landlord's responsibility to fix substandard housing conditions. Many of these problems can be avoided or improved with proper home upkeep and free- or low-cost solutions. Renters may ask local city or county code enforcement agencies for help if landlords do not repair or remediate these conditions in a timely way once they have been informed.
EHIB provides the following resources to inform and support the efforts of those interested in making housing healthier in California.