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From The CriticsReviewer: J. Thomas Pierce, MBBS PhD(Navy Environmental Health Center)
Description: This is a handy reference for those working in the field of environmental health and safety adapted to home (residential) environments. It is forward-focused on topics that have plagued the housing industry in terms of factors that make housing unlivable to those with a variety of health-based concerns.
Purpose: The introduction contains the essence of the book. We find information there that underscores the public health impact of housing and also the necessity of a more systematic approach. As this theme is advanced and broadened throughout its 200-plus pages, there is also a hint of the impact of health inequalities created by inadequate housing.
Audience: All readers owe a look at this little book. It recognizes the recent foreclosure crisis and moves from problems to concepts such as "cities of resilience." Such notions are critical to city planners and to many in public life who make decisions about the stock of available housing. It would delight me to find a tattered copy in the back seat of a thoughtful real estate agent's car because that person recognized the importance of the book's message.
Features: Conveniently organized into four sections, the book includes an introductory piece, a second section devoted to various principles of healthy housing, a third noting health disparities, and a fourth outlining the role and scope of professional practice. It is balanced and resourceful in presenting checklists, charts, and graphs that practitioners will be able to use in both surveys and presentations. Published by the American Public Health Association, book is authored by three well-known editors and 18 chapter authors.
Assessment: It is hard not to like this book. Its underlying principles date back to Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold but also look forward to the green building era and beyond. In an era when important environmental interventions are frequently misunderstood, this book sheds light on our way forward.