Principles of a Healthy Home

Many homes fall short of the basic requirements of a healthy home and contain one or more of hazards that adversely affect human health.

  • Mold and pests — such as cockroaches, rodents, and dust mites — can cause and contribute to asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses. Since housing conditions can play a significant role in respiratory health, these hazards can greatly increase and intensify susceptibility to respiratory illnesses.
  • Toxic materials such as lead, asbestos, and chemical pesticides can harm human health in a variety of ways. For instance, lead poisoning in children causes reduced IQ and attention span, hyperactivity, impaired growth, reading and learning disabilities, hearing loss, insomnia, and a range of other health, intellectual, and behavioral problems.
  • Poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide and radon also pose threats to health. Carbon monoxide poisoning results in more than 200 accidental deaths a year and, at much lower levels, causes flu-like symptoms, which often go undiagnosed. Radon can increase the risk of cancer, which is the second leading cause of death among adults and children in the U.S.

The ideal way to maintain healthy homes and properties is to address these hazards before they become dangerous problems and by tackling many hazards at once.

Refer to the videos below for a step-by-step breakdown on best practices for maintaining a safe and healthy home. DUST, PESTS, and MOLD are available in both English and Spanish, and were filmed right in New Jersey, featuring local parents and field professionals.


A practical and comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to dry and wet clean your home to prevent health hazards like asthma and reduce the harmful effects of allergens and lead paint dust for your family. DUST was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Center for Environmental Health Sciences in Piscataway, NJ.

Click here to watch the video in Spanish.


Before you panic, here’s what you need to know to effectively keep your home pest-free AND your family safe from harmful pesticides and chemicals. PEST was underwritten by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Rutgers Cooperative Extension and Isles, Inc.

Click here to watch Part 1 in Spanish.
Click here to watch Part 2 in Spanish.


Mold inside your home can be very harmful for both your health and your home. Stop the moisture first and then clean it up. Click here to watch in Spanish. MOLD was created by the partnership of Isles, Inc; The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Rutgers Cooperative Extension; and The Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute.

Additional Resources and Videos