Program volunteers check homes for leaks, dust, cockroaches

Name of program: Master Home Environmentalist; 325-6516

What it does: This program sends trained volunteers into homes to check for environmental hazards such as leaky roofs and dust and biological hazards such as ants or cockroaches. The volunteers usually offer free or low-cost solutions for these hazards.

“We’re trying to reduce triggers of allergies or asthma,” said Leyna Odell, a member of CLEARCorps, which is a division of AmeriCorps that helps protect children from lead poisoning. The volunteers use a checklist called the Home Environmental Assessment List that helps identify potential hazards to respiratory health.

Who runs it: The American Lung Association

How to get help: The ALA is now taking appointments for visits starting Friday. It offers evening and weekend appointments to accommodate the client’s schedule.

The appointments are free and are available to residents in Spokane. The group plans to offer appointments in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls soon.

Typical client: This program is new to the Spokane area, Odell said. The Seattle program visited many renters’ homes with mold problems.

The Spokane program expects to find problems with radon.

How to give help: “Donations are always appreciated,” said Odell. The program gets funding from the National American Lung Association and the Environmental Protection Agency, but funding is always needed.

The program is just now getting started, so more volunteers won’t be needed until organizers see what the demand is for the service.

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