January 30, 2020 - General

Mold Policy Guide for Tribal Governments

Policy Approaches to Mold Prevention, Assessment and Abatement: State, Local and Tribal Examples for Tribal Government Consideration

Click HERE to download our Guide

This briefing paper summarizes policy approaches to mold prevention, assessment and remediation and is intended to be a resource for tribes working to prevent and/or address mold in homes, workplaces, and other tribal buildings. Two tribal policy examples are provided, as well as numerous policies adopted by state and local governments. Many of these codes include useful guidelines, technical standards and evidence-based approaches that could be modified and adapted by tribes to suit their specific needs and priorities. Reviewing these model codes may provide a starting point for tribes considering policy approaches to mold. Additionally, conversations with different tribal departments may yield insights into the “fit” of different policy levers. Consider inviting members of your Board or Council, Housing Authority board members, Housing Department management, Housing maintenance staff, Resident Services staff or your Planning team to the table. Facility maintenance management and staff, inspectors, and workplace safety crew would be useful as well. Environmental, Air Quality, Public health and Tribal Clinic staff may be not only interested, but may also lead the collaboration necessary to develop mold policy.     

April 25, 2018 - General

Best Practices for Prevention of Mold and Water Damage in Tribal Housing: A 5-Part Video Training for Tribal Housing Professionals

The Tribal Healthy Homes Network, in partnership with the Tulalip Tribes and HUD’s NW Office of Native American Programs, is pleased to bring you this five-part video series with award-winning building science professionals. Our trainers include Tom Balderston (Green Builder, Designer and Contractor) and THHN’s Technical Advisor, Aileen Gagney (Architect, General Contractor and Healthy Homes Professional).

In this five-part video series, the three hour training covers general building science, followed by a deep dive into prevention strategies for crawlspace, walls and house interior, and attic and roof. Best practices covered in the videos include flashing, insulation, ventilation, and air sealing, assessment, and containment. Through this training, participants will be better equipped to:

  • Prevent water damage and subsequent mold
  • Improve durability of housing units
  • Increase resident comfort and health conditions
  • Reduce rehabilitation costs
  • Reduce resident’s utility costs
  • Decrease repair workload through preventative maintenance

Watch the 5 part series here: 

Module 1: The Basics of Building Science
Module 2: Crawl Space
Module 3: Inside the House
Module 4: Attics and Roofs
Module 5: Prevention Best Practices 


January 25, 2018 - General

THHN 2018 Calendar – Healthy Homes Checklist

2018 Calendar

Houses often contain invisible, hidden and odorless hazards. For example, radon, an odorless gas, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. Mold, often hidden, can cause allergies, asthma attacks and frequent infections. Lead, an unseen component of house dust, affects the intelligence learning ability and behavior of children. Carbon monoxide, an odorless gas produced by combustion appliances, can kill. what we bring into and use in our houses can also bring dangerous gases and fumes. Examples include burning wet wood, cleaning with strong store-bought products or storing points and solvents inside the home.

Download the calendar here:  Renters Healthy Home Calendar - Final

July 5, 2016 - THHN Partner Profiles

Tribal Healthy Homes Network Partner Profile – Nancy Bernard, WA State Department of Health

What is your role, and how does a state health department work with the public during a smoke event?   

My role is to work with local health jurisdictions and with K-12 schools. I do indoor air quality education and work to ensure improved ventilation during wildfire and smoke events.

When you work with schools about IAQ, what are the most important messages you want the schools to know?

It’s unusual for us to have serious wildfire smoke while k-12 school is in session, however we’ve had two recent episodes – one in 2012 and one again in 2015 that have been bad.

NancyPBernardIn terms of specific messages, if the smoke is severe, we encourage schools to turn off their air conditioner, which stops bringing in outside air. We’re also trying to encourage better filtration of their air intake. Normally, you’re bringing in outside air on a regular basis, which dilutes the indoor air and keeps the CO2 levels down.

We also recommend a MERV 8 or higher filter, particularly with a deeper pleat so you can actually clean and filter the air as it’s brought into the building. For sensitive populations, we recommend using a properly-sized air filter to improve the air.

We’ve also developed an activities guide for schools that talks about when to limit outdoor activities when PM 2.5 readings are high. (Click here to see the guide – it’s in the Air Quality section) The guide was heavily used last year because the wildfires were still burning in August, when outdoor sports were starting up. This mean a lot of student athletes were impacted. The guide has been out for a couple of years now, we send it out to the school nurses regularly.

What are some of the specific measures that Department of Health recommends people take to protect themselves?

  1. Follow the activities guide in terms of outdoor activity and other steps listed on the document.
  1. Pay special attention to sensitive populations.
  1. As one nurse said, it would be great if we could remind parents that their children should always have their inhaler with them during these episodes. Parents should also notify their school’s nurse if their child has particular problems with smoke.