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Programs and Materials for Adults

Healthy Homes

A healthy home is one that supports the health and safety of the people who live there.

Click on each item below to learn more. A healthy home is

Click to view an introduction to healthy homes.

Click to view the introduction to healthy homes with training notes.

Healthy Homes/Healthy Kids: a train-the-trainer program for Head Start, Early Head Start, and similar programs
HEC has developed pilot program to train Head Start and Early Head Start staff to help their families create and maintain healthy homes. The program explains how home conditions can affect children's health and how to improve those conditions. Lessons cover an introduction to healthy homes, managing lead hazards, controlling pests safely, managing mold and mildew, reducing asthma triggers, controlling clutter, smoking, and advocating for healthy homes.

[Note:This curriculum was developed with the financial support of the State of Connecticut, Department of Social Services, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, LAMPP (Lead Action for Medicaid Primary Prevention) Project, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.This publication does not express the views of the State of Connecticut, its Department of Social Services, or the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.]

Click for the detailed lesson plans.

Click for the trainer manual.

Click for the train-the-trainer slideshow.

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Lead Poisoning Awareness and Prevention

Lead poisoning is a serious but preventable health problem. Lead can cause permanent damage—especially to the developing brains and nervous systems of unborn children and children under six years old.

While no amount of lead in the body is safe, the effects depend upon the level of lead in the blood. In children, even very low levels are associated with lowered intelligence, behavior problems, growth problems, hearing loss, and problems in maintaining a steady posture. Moderate levels can also harm the kidneys and liver. Very high levels can cause deafness, blindness, coma, convulsions, and even death.

Children who have been lead poisoned are much more likely to have problems with reading, vocabulary, attention, fine-motor coordination, school attendance, and academic achievement. They are more likely to drop out of high school.

Download the information sheet for parents or guardians in English (pdf) or Spanish (pdf).

Lead can also damage adults. It can cause problems with reproduction, blood pressure, digestion, the nervous system, memory and concentration, and muscles and joints.

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Training programs

For educators
Lead Poisoning: Limiting the Ability to Learn

In partnership with the LAMPP (Lead Action for Medicaid Primary Prevention) project, HEC developed a training program to raise lead awareness among Connecticut educators (including teachers, administrators, pupil support personnel, health services personnel, and others, in pre-K through high school), as well as to help educators respond to the needs of children who have been harmed by lead poisoning. The program includes a two-hour classroom training, a train-the-trainer component, and an online version of the training. The training covers general information about lead poisoning, a discussion of why educators should be particularly concerned about lead poisoning, and methods of preventing lead poisoning. There is also an optional module for childcare providers, offering a brief overview of state lead-paint regulations for childcare facilities. For more information about this program, contact hec@uconn.edu.

For employees of paint and home improvement stores
Employees in paint and home improvement stores often have the opportunity to help customers learn how to work safely around lead-based paint. To help them learn how to advise customers, HEC developed a simple, scenario-based pilot training. Click for the training on lead-safe work practices for employees of paint and home improvement stores.

For contractors
Connecticut's lead-safe work practices training for painting, remodeling, and maintenance, which HEC developed in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, has been superseded by a new federal rule. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Renovation, Repair and Painting rule, which took full effect in April 2010, requires that:

  • Renovators must be trained in the use of specific lead-safe work practices.
  • Renovators and firms must be certified by EPA.
  • Providers of renovation training must be accredited by EPA.
  • Renovators must follow specific work-practice standards.

The rule applies to every person who is paid to perform renovation, repair, and painting projects in housing, childcare facilities, and schools built before 1978, when lead-based paint was banned. These individuals include home improvement contractors, maintenance workers, painters, and members of other specialty trades. The rule does not apply to minor maintenance or repair activities, which EPA defines as affecting less than six square feet of lead-based paint in a room or less than twenty square feet of lead-based paint on the exterior. Window replacement is not minor maintenance or repair.

For more information, see EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) website.

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Videos

Don't Spread Lead: A Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Preventing Lead Poisoning by Working Lead Safe
Don't Spread Lead This lead-poisoning awareness video was developed for do-it-yourselfers, in English and Spanish, with an introduction by Norm Abram, master carpenter of PBS's This Old House and host of PBS's New Yankee Workshop. This video is not designed for paid contractors, whose work is governed by EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting rule.

Any home built before 1978 may contain lead paint. Doing repairs or renovations without taking proper precautions could put people at risk for lead poisoning, a very serious illness.

If a home has lead paint, then common activities—such as sanding and scraping an old windowsill or removing paint with a heat gun—can produce dangerous lead dust, chips, and fumes. Don't Spread Lead shows do-it-yourselfers how to handle small repairs or renovations safely. By using the lead-safety practices shown in this program, do-it-yourselfers can help to prevent lead poisoning for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Volunteers Opening Doors: The Five Keys to Lead Safety
Volunteers Opening Doors This lead-poisoning awareness video was developed for volunteers in painting and housing-rehabilitation programs, in English and Spanish. This video is not designed for paid contractors, whose work is governed by EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting rule.

Millions of houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead. Chips, dust, and fumes from this paint can be very dangerous if they are not handled properly. Lead is particularly hazardous to unborn babies, infants, and young children. Volunteers in painting and housing-rehabilitation programs often work in homes that contain lead paint. The work they perform can create a lead hazard if they disturb this paint and produce paint chips or dust.

Volunteers Opening Doors explains how volunteers can protect housing residents, themselves, and their families from lead poisoning by using the five keys to lead safety:

  1. Protect residents and their belongings.
  2. Prepare the work area.
  3. Protect yourself from dust and debris.
  4. Work wet.
  5. Work clean.
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New England Lead Coordinating Committee

Don't Spread LeadHEC administers the New England Lead Coordinating Committee (NELCC), a regional consortium of state agencies that are working to eliminate lead poisoning, especially in children. NELCC develops regional projects and promotes the exchange of information, ideas, materials, and programs among its member agencies, federal agencies, and other organizations working to eliminate lead poisoning throughout New England.

Download NELCC's booklet on lead-safe work practices in English (pdf) or Spanish (pdf).

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Radon

Measuring Radon in Residential Properties
This train-the-trainer program teaches home inspectors how to measure radon, in air and water, in accordance with protocols of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and guidance from the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Click for a list of trained home inspectors.

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