Introducing NCHH’s State Healthy Housing Fact Sheets: EPA Region 5
by Sarah Goodwin
Throughout 2018, we’re posting highlights of our state fact sheets by EPA region, one region per month. In May, we’re looking at EPA Region 5, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Highlights from these states include:
- The percentage of houses built before 1978 in this region ranges from 57% (Minnesota) to 68% (Wisconsin). In Illinois, 59% of these houses have a prevalence of lead-based paint.
- Radon is a large problem in all six states:
- Two out of five (40%) Minnesota homes have elevated levels of radon. This percentage is 41% in Illinois, 32% in Indiana, and 25% in Wisconsin.
- High levels of radon have been found in homes in all Ohio counties and nine counties in southern Michigan.
- Up to 1,160 people in Illinois develop radon-related lung cancer each year.
- 40% of Ohio schools have high levels of radon.
- In 2014, there were over 12,000 hospitalizations due to asthma in Wisconsin and Illinois combined.
- Adults and children with asthma in Michigan report an average of between 3.8 and 4 asthma triggers at home.
- An average of 67 Illinois residents die from carbon monoxide each year. This is the second highest number of any state in the 2011-2015 period; Ohio is not far behind with an average of 58 deaths annually.
- In Ohio, falls among older adults in a single year (2014) were projected to be responsible for $1.9 billion in lifetime costs. A similar estimate for Michigan in 2009 projected $321 million in lifetime costs; however, the percentage of the population above age 65 in Michigan is expected to rise to 20% by 2030.
- In 2015, 23,944 children from Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin tested with elevated blood lead levels at or above 5 µg/dL. In Michigan, this number was 5,521 in FY 2016.
Other NCHH Resources
- The Health Impact Project’s 10 Policies to Prevent and Respond to Childhood Lead Exposure report features case studies into lead poisoning prevention from Lansing, Michigan and Peoria, Illinois. Several of the Lead Poisoning Awareness Community Mini-Grants, facilitated by NCHH in conjunction with the report, were awarded to groups in this region, including Chicago, Illinois; East Chicago, Indiana; Flint, Michigan; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Cleveland, Ohio.
- In 2017, NCHH awarded three Healthy Homes Workforce Development mini-grants to help communities develop their workforce capacity to offer home-visiting services related to healthy homes; grantees included the Minnesota Community Health Workers Alliance in Bloomington.
- Use this list of building code resources to identify building codes in your state and locality.
- NCHH has conducted many research projects in the region, especially in Illinois and Chicago. Topics have included lead poisoning prevention and window replacement, lead dust and housing demolition, ventilation and indoor air quality, energy efficiency and radon, and green housing rehabilitation.
NCHH’s state fact sheets will be updated annually with current information. For questions or comments, please email Laura Fudala at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Goodwin joined NCHH as a Policy Analyst in June 2017. She previously served NCHH as a policy intern, helping to establish and run the Find It, Fix It, Fund It lead action drive and its workgroups. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government from American University.