COPY-Govt. urges people to make homes healthy

Associated Press - June 9, 2009 2:33 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government is urging parents and homebuilders to make their homes healthier by getting rid of lead paint, mold, and other hazards.

Acting Surgeon General Steven Galson and Housing Deputy Secretary Ron Sims launched a coordinated federal effort Tuesday to prevent diseases and injuries from potential health dangers in the home.

Galson says the nation's "leading preventable causes of death, disease and disability" include lead poisoning, house fires, falls on stairs and from windows, and burn or scald injuries.

Among the safety actions the new effort is promoting:

Improvement of air quality in homes by installing radon and carbon monoxide detectors.

Control of allergens that contribute to asthma and mold growth.

Testing of houses occupied by children less than six years of age for lead.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that about 24 million homes have significant lead-based paint hazards.

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