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Housing Opportunity 2014 - Improving Health Outcomes through Residential Energy Efficiency, Ellen Tohn

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Ellen Tohn, Tohn Environmental Strategies

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Housing Opportunity 2014 - Improving Health Outcomes through Residential Energy Efficiency, Ellen Tohn

  1. 1. Health Benefits of Energy Improvements Ellen Tohn Tohn Environmental Strategies
  2. 2. Health Benefits of Energy “Touches” Young children receiving fuel assistance are healthier than their peers who do not get fuel assistance  Healthier babies - 20% less likely to be underweight for age or length  Reduced hospital stays in colder months - 30% less likely to require admission after visiting emergency room. Source: Frank et al, Heat or Eat, Pediatrics, 2006
  3. 3. Current Asthma Rates 20 million adults 4 million kids
  4. 4. Slide Title • Improved asthma outcomes if weatherization added to community health worker visits (Bryesse, 2013) • Weatherization yielded fewer sinus infections, reduced asthma medication use (Wilson, 2013) Health Benefits of Energy “Touches”
  5. 5. New Energy Efficient & Ventilated Homes Symptom EE Homes Control Homes P-value Runny Nose -28% -16% 0.010 Sneezing -28% -16% 0.020 Throat irritation -31% -17% 0.004 Cough -36% -20% 0.002 Fatigue -37% -23% 0.009 Irritability -39% -22% 0.002 Significant health improvements in new homes when compared to control homes, many of which had HRVs (62%) Leech et al. Indoor Air 2004
  6. 6. Slide TitleCaution: Radon Can Increase 63% 21% 2% 14% Pre & Post <4 Pre<4 and Post >4 Pre >4 to Post <4 Pre & Post >4 Source: Tohn, MIAQC 2012 56 homes 1.6 (pCi/L) increase
  7. 7. Ventilation Matters
  8. 8. Slide Title • Reducing fuel use & providing a warmer home improves health – asthma, allergies, general health • Be sure to take precautions – radon & ventilation • Opportunities to add repairs & property management to enhance health benefits – IPM: Boston documents 50% reduction in asthma rates – Smoke Free Housing: Reduces owner costs & asthma risks – Green Cleaning: Reduces costs & worker Take Aways

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