Healthy Environments Header
Healthy Environments
Healthy environments are key to healthy communities and healthy people. Multiple health challenges exist in our local environments. Healthy Acadia and our partners are engaged in multiple initiatives to improve the health of our environments, including:

 

Lead Poisoning Prevention
Healthy Homes
Maine Healthy Air Coalition

Lead Poisoning Prevention

Did you know that lead poisoning is considered the top preventable environmental disease among young children? Lead is a toxin that can be especially harmful to children under the age of 6. Before the risk to young children was known, lead was used in many products, including paint. Paint manufactured after 1978 no longer contains lead, but older houses often still contain old lead paint.

In Maine, lead dust from old paint is the most common cause of childhood lead poisoning. Lead dust collects on floors and other surfaces where children crawl and play with toys. When children, especially those under 3, put their hands and toys into their mouths, the lead dust gets into their bodies.

Lead can have very serious and permanent effects on children’s growth and development, including:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Behavioral problems
  • Hearing damage
  • Language or speech delays
  • Aggressive patterns of behavior

Healthy Acadia encourages community members to assess your risks of lead exposure. If you reside in a home built before 1978, you could be exposing your children to dust from lead paint. A simple blood test is recommended for one- and two-year old children, which can help prevent permanent damage to a child's brain and nervous system. Click here for more information. 

Healthy Acadia and the Maine CDC Lead Poisoning Prevention Program work to raise awareness about how to prevent lead poisoning. It is critical to test your home, test your child, and learn how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects. 

Healthy Acadia offers a variety of resources to help prevent lead poisoning across Hancock County. Please contact Maria Donahue at Healthy Acadia, 667-7171, maria@healthyacadia.org.

Resources:
http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/eohp/lead/resources.shtml

Healthy Homes

A Healthy Home is a home that is maintained to provide a healthy environment for residents and visitors. A house that is not properly maintained can lead to unhealthy outcomes for residents, such as asthma, lead poisoning, lung cancer and unintentional injuries.

The following seven principles of a healthy home should be considered at all times:

  • Contaminant Free: Lead, Radon, Carbon Monoxide, Well Water and Tobacco
  • Pest Free: Bedbugs, Mice and Cockroaches
  • Safe from Injury
  • Ventilated
  • Maintained
  • Dry
  • Clean

Healthy Acadia supports Healthy Homes through providing education about the important components of maintaining a healthy home, and through connecting residents with resources and support to improve the health of their homes.

For more information, contact Maria Donahue at maria@healthyacadia.org

Resources:
http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/eohp/healthyhomes/index.html

The Maine Healthy Air Coalition

Healthy Acadia is a member of the Maine Healthy Air Coalition, a group of statewide and local public health and healthcare organizations. We are concerned about Maine’s air quality and recognize the critical importance of good air quality to the health of our communities. The Coalition is committed to defending and protecting the Clean Air Act – a cornerstone law that has been working effectively to make our air healthier for over 40 years.

The most widespread air pollutants, ozone and particle pollution, can lead to serious health effects. Ozone, also known as smog, is created in the atmosphere by gasses that come out of tailpipes and smokestacks and mix with warm air and sunshine. Particle pollution is a mixture of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air; such particles come directly from tailpipes, smokestacks, wood fires, and other sources.

Half of the people in Maine live in counties with unhealthy air, according to the American Lung Association’s 2011 State of the Air Report. Unhealthy air leads to dangerous health effects for all of us, but the most vulnerable are children, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Maine families and businesses need healthy air to grow and succeed. Our health, our economic opportunities, and our quality of life all depend on clean and healthy air. When people are healthy, children do better in school, workers are more productive, and businesses can add jobs because their health costs are lower.

On December 18, 2013, Healthy Acadia's Board of Directors passed a Resolution in Support of the Clean Air Act. This act followed discussion and approval by Healthy Acadia's Community Advisory Council to recommend passage of the resolution to the Board in November. The Clean Air Act is recognized to be the only tool to reduce cross-state air pollution, and it has helped prevent 160,000 premature deaths and 1.7 million asthma attacks. For more information, download Healthy Acadia's resolution.

For more information about Healthy Acadia's work with the Healthy Air Coalition, or to get involved contact:

Elsie Flemings at Healthy Acadia, elsie@healthyacadia.org.

or the Maine Healthy Air Campaign Coordinator, Effie Craven, at ecraven@LungNE.org.

Vision
We respect, protect and conserve our natural resources & build environments so they continue to protect, preserve and sustain healthy people. Our air, land, water and indoor spaces are clean and free from toxins.
Lead Poisoning
When remodeling an older home, it is important to take precautions to protect yourself and your family from lead paint dust.