202970 Healthy Homes, Lead Poisoning, and Triggers of Asthma Among Children in South Florida

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:30 AM

Michael A. Melchior, MPH, PhD(c) , Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL
Janvier Gasana, MD PhD , Environmental & Occupational Health, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL

In 1999, Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI) was introduced to protect children and their families from housing-related health and safety hazards. HHI takes a holistic approach to these activities by focusing on housing-related hazards (such as mold, lead, allergens, carbon monoxide, home safety, pesticides, and radon) in a coordinated fashion.


Based on current literature of lead exposure in children and community-based interventions to reduce environmental triggers for asthma among children, strategies to combat childhood lead poisoning (CLP) should be integrated with childhood asthma interventions. SFA Consortium is working with two Healthy Homes pilot studies funded by CDC through FL Dept. of Health in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach. This is the approach that SFA will utilize for the asthma pilot study that will look at 120 asthmatic children in Monroe, Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.


Lead poisoning and asthma are common pediatric health problems, both linked to the environment. Deteriorating paint contaminates dust which acts as a vector in both CLP and asthma morbidity, by being contaminated with fine lead particles and harboring allergens, respectively. CLP and asthma may often occur together, especially amongst urban, low-income, minority children.


By addressing these housing-related health hazards together, the integrated intervention will be cost-effective and decrease asthma morbidity. The concept of healthy homes is very effective in addressing the environmental health issues in the home. The conditions that contribute to both the risk of childhood lead poisoning and asthma morbidity can be dealt with at the same time.

Learning Objectives:
1. List the objectives of the Healthy Homes Initiative. 2. Explain the benefit of integrating the strategies to combat childhood lead poisoning and childhood asthma interventions. 3. List sources of exposure to lead. 4. List triggers of asthma. 5. Assess the proposed research study of South Florida residents that will use Healthy Homes to combat lead poisoning and asthma among children.

Keywords: Children's Health, Asthma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have received two bachelor degrees in Microbiology and Food Science from the University of Florida. I then pursued a Master's of Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. For the past year I have been heavily involved with the founding of South Florida Asthma, a four county-wide asthma consortium that proposes to investigate what unique factors of South Florida affect people with asthma. I have presented posters on the topics of asthma allergens, the use of Healthy Homes to fight asthma allergens indoors, and the process of founding a community coalition. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and plan to carry out dissertation research that looks at age-tailored asthma education programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.