Home Environmental Assessment and Remediation (HEART)

Home environmental issues such as indoor air pollution, poor water quality, and household hazards are risk factors for injuries and multiple diseases that excessively burden Native American communities. In 2016-2017, with funding from the Osprey Foundation, the Center conducted a pilot study to identify and address harmful home environmental exposures in White Mountain Apache households.

To carry out the study, the Center partnered with the White Mountain Apache Tribal Housing Authority. The overall goal of the study was to identify programs and interventions that can be implemented to help reduce the community health disparities. Twenty households were enrolled in the study. Most households had safety hazards identified, including broken outlets, missing smoke detectors, and broken windows, and had water and air quality in the acceptable range. Repairs were completed on the enrolled households, including replacing wood stoves, gaskets, stove pipes, and windows.

Educational materials were developed for participants and their communities. Here are some tips to keep your home safe:

  • Keep household cleaners away from children and pets
  • Store guns securely away from children
  • Cover electrical outlets
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy
  • Check smoke and CO detectors every month
  • Clean stoves and chimneys every year
  • Keep heater in well-ventilated room away from furniture and curtains
  • Burn only seasoned hardwood
  • Keep emergency phone numbers handy