Healthy Homes, Environmental Consumer Management & Senior Care Department

The Healthy Homes, Environmental Consumer Management & Senior Care Department (HHECMSC) addresses a wide range of environmental threats to the community from childhood lead poisoning to aging in place. HHECMSC areas include:

Childhood Lead Poisoningyoung children, especially those under the age of 7, are the most susceptible to the irreversible effects of lead poisoning. According to the CDC, no safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. And effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected. At risk children should have their first blood lead test around 12 months of age. HHECMSC conducts a range of primary and secondary prevention strategies to address childhood lead poisoning prevention in the community.  Activities include providing lead poisoning education in the community, testing homes and consumer products before they poison a child to identifying poisoned children and providing case management services.

Blood Lead Testing- HHECMSC screeners conduct blood lead testing in many community venues such as school, childcare facilities, Refugee Clinics, and health fairs. Additionally, HHECMSC offers a free weekly walk in clinic every Thursday at 3901 Meadows Drive from noon to 5pm. No appointment necessary.

Case ManagementChildren identified with an elevated blood lead level defined as 5Ug/dl (microliters) or above receives case management services. Case management includes regular contact with a case manager to assist with the identifying at risk behaviors and potential exposure sources. The case manager acts as a liaison between the family and medical personnel as well as assisting with connecting the family to community resources.

Lead Inspections/Risk Assessments- In 1978, lead was banned as a residential paint additive.  Prior to 1978, lead was added to paint to speed up drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion. A lead inspection is designed to determine which surfaces in a home contain lead.  A risk assessment identifies which leaded surfaces are considered a hazard and should be immediately addressed. A state licensed lead inspector and risk assessor will inspect a home and provide a detailed report of the findings with recommendations to safely address any hazards.

Consumer Management-With State backing and in partnership with the CPSC, the Consumer Management Specialists conducts recall checks at local retailers. If a retailer is selling recalled items, the Consumer Management Specialist will order the retail to stop selling the recalled product and report the retailer to the appropriate authorities. The Consumer Management Specialist provides education to childcare operators on issues of child safety as well as provide onsite testing of children’s toys and other consumer products for unacceptable lead content.

Senior Care Management (SCM) SCM is a comprehensive program that focuses on all aspects of senior health, including impediments and barriers to health and wellbeing. Through a network of partners, case management services, and low-cost interventions and home modifications, SCM will enable seniors to live in their homes longer and enjoy a higher quality of life than they would have otherwise been able. Adults 65 and older that are at risk for falls or have respiratory concerns, and are referred by a healthcare provider or social service agency, may be enrolled in the SCM program. SCM will provide practical assistance in the form of case management and low-cost home modifications to facilitate aging in place.

Pesticide Poisoning Prevention and Bedbug EnforcementBedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color. HHECMSC provides technical assistance with identifying and eliminating bedbugs. While HHECMSC does not provide removal services, we can assist with identifying how an infestation occurs and educate and suggest ways to stop re-infestations.

Pesticide PoisoningLike other toxic chemicals, pesticides can poison people in different ways: through the skin and eyes, through the mouth, or through the air. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of pesticide exposure. According to the EPA, children are at a greater risk for some pesticides for a number of reasons. Children’s internal organs are still developing and maturing and their enzymatic, metabolic, and immune systems may provide less natural protection than those of an adult. There are “critical periods” in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual’s biological system operates. Children’s behaviors, such as playing on the floor or on the lawn where pesticides are commonly applied, or putting objects in their mouths, increase their chances of exposure to pesticides.

Health Education and OutreachHHECMSC conducts presentation on department activities in English and Spanish. Twice a month, HHECMSC sponsors A Tu Salud on Telemundo Indy and produces a monthly newsletter. Additionally, HHECMSC reaches out to the community through health fairs and conference speaking opportunities.

Data (1/1/14 – 12/18/14)

Bedbug Inspections Calls: 681

Bedbug Court Cases Files: 0 court cases; 20 cases pending reinspections

Bedbug Inspections Completed: 871

Bedbug Training and Presentations Completed: 36

Initial Lead Inspections: 173

Lead Reinspections:  1015

Lead Compliances:  59

Healthy Homes Assessments: 117

Pre 1978 SCE:  16

Total Children Tested (non repeat): 7779

Total Tests:  8494

# Children in Case Management:  104 newly opened cases during the course of the year with 310 open cases at 5 ug/dL and higher on 12/10/2014

LINKS:

Home Safety Activity Book for kids

The Key to a Safe Home (English)

The Key to a Safe Home (Spanish)

What You Need to Know About Lead Poisoning

 

“Clean Air for Kids” Series

Radon (English; Spanish)

Carbon Monoxide (English; Spanish)

Particulate Matter (English; Spanish)

Mold (English; Spanish)

Secondhand Smoke (English; Spanish)

Lead (English; Spanish)