Lunch & Learn with ACHD

On Friday, March 6th the ACHD Healthy Homes & Lead Program taught GTECH staff and ReEnergize Pgh Ambassadors the ins and outs of their program over a brown bag lunch session. Richard Paul, the Public Health Educator and Jeff O’Brien, the Program Manager walked us through the relationship between home health and and the health of those who live in them.

The ACHD Healthy Homes & Lead Program covers a variety of home health and safety issues, provides home assessments as well as education on low cost and no cost interventions to help prevent problems before they occur.

“We’re just getting people started. To make your home healthy, you’re going to need more than the stuff we give you, but this is a good start”

-Jeff O’Brien, Program Manager, ACHD LHHP

Here are some things that I learned today:

  • More than 90% of all poison exposures occur in homes.
  • When you hear about lead poisoning, it’s not just about kids licking the walls or eating lead paint (that’s what I always thought…). It’s really about the lead dust that gets kicked up when doors and windows painted with lead paint rub together, or if you step on a lead painted porch and dust comes up. That dust is where you get real exposure to lead. Children that play on floors and touch windows and then, as children do, put their fingers in their mouths, ingest that lead dust. You only need microscopic levels of lead – any amount can poison a child! Especially watch out for lead in homes built prior to 1950 – but can be found in any home built before 1978!
  • Did you know that you could be allergic to cockroaches? They carry an allergen on them that can also exacerbate asthma!
  • CO monitors should be installed as close to bedrooms as possible, even if your CO producing appliances are on different floors.
  • Did you also know that cockroaches are cannibals?
  • 82% of households in the United States report using pesticides in their home.
  • The 7 Principles of a Healthy Home include keeping your home:
    • Dry
    • Clean
    • Safe
    • Well-ventilated
    • Pest-free
    • Contaminant-free
    • Well-maintained


I learned all of this and more over a lunch discussion… imagine what you could learn if they came to your home!

The ACHD Healthy Homes & Lead Program offers home assessment for residents in 11 counties in Southwest Pennsylvania who are at or below 300% of the federal poverty guidelines (Here is a neat chart that will tell you what the federal poverty guidelines are).

For more information about the program, visit their website or call 412-350-4048.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.