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16:32 PM

Substandard building conditions can affect children's health

Speakers at the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Summit brought their perspectives on the different aspects of occupant health

Kevin Kennedy

The third annual Better Buildings Summit, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, brought together thousands of representatives from organizations, state and local government and nonprofits such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to showcase energy efficiency measures and related benefits to their sectors. The summit included sector-specific sessions focused on commercial, data centers, industrial, financial, multifamily, single-family and public sector areas.

The sessions offered attendees the opportunity to hear in-depth presentations on a variety of topics and to engage fellow stakeholders in conversation. Several sessions engaged audiences on the issue of occupant health.

Another panel centered around health and home performance in particular, with professionals in the health care field speaking about the link between poorly performing homes and poor occupant health. The panelists presented compelling cases for improving occupant living spaces to benefit human health, particularly among children, some of which can be viewed in their presentations.

Among the panelists was Kevin Kennedy, Managing Director for the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) at Children’s Mercy, who discussed the effects of substandard building conditions on children’s health, particularly its link to increased rates of asthma and other health problems. Nationwide, allergies and asthma affect one out of every five Americans, or 60 million people. Kennedy stressed that human behavior is the best indicator of overall health, which includes the condition of a person’s living space. CEH’s work includes its Healthy Home Program and its Safe and Healthy Child Care Program, where specialists conduct visits to the homes and child care facilities of chronically ill children to inspect and diagnose the environment to find any related causes.

Read the whole article via the U.S. Green Building Council.

Learn more about the Center for Environmental Health at Children's Mercy.