Master Home Environmentalist Course

posted by Jay on 05/15/2011

I took the Master Home Environmentalist program at the American Lung Association in Washington to become a volunteer to do a free home assessment, for people who call in regarding potential moisture and allergy issues in the home. By participating in the 35 hour training I have become qualified to do on-site assessments. Volunteer trainings are held every spring and fall, and will donate a minimum of 35 hours outreach in the community. Volunteers are needed to promote lung health by increasing awareness of home environmental pollutants and encouraging action to reduce exposure in 10,000 homes. The program has evolved over the last 13 years and there are now more than 50 active volunteers who conduct home assessments and other outreach activities.

MISSION: A healthy home environment improves the quality of residents’ lives, particularly children and individuals with asthma. Residents have the right to know of hazards in their homes. A personalized approach is effective in motivating people to improve their home environment. Residents, through their own actions, can make changes in their homes to prevent illness.

Topics include Second Hand Smoke; Moisture and Biological Contaminants (mold); Asthma and Allergies; Communication and Behavior Change; Natural Lawn and Garden Care; Lead; Toxicology; Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation; Household Chemicals; Cultural Diversity and Tenants Rights.

The educational trainers were very impressive; a majority has a science or health related background and work for agencies such as the EPA, Seattle & King County Public Health, University of Washington, Washington Toxics Coalition, Solid Ground and other community groups and businesses.

Program results indicate an 87% improvement with individual behaviors. The results of one study were published in Environmental Health Perspectives, Journal of the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (October 1997).

Here is a brochure to start your own Healthy Homes Initiative.

The MHE program has expanded to other parts of the country in recent years and totals 19 as of 2006. Contact information is available for all MHE programs.

For more information please contact the American Lung Association of Washington.