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Association of Housing Disrepair Indicators with Cockroach and Rodent Infestations in a Cohort of Pregnant Latina Women and Their Children

Asa Bradman, Jonathan Chevrier, Ira Tager, Michael Lipsett, Jaqueline Sedgwick, Janet Macher, Ana B. Vargas, Elvia B. Cabrera, Jose M. Camacho, Rosana Weldon, Katherine Kogut, Nicholas P. Jewell and Brenda Eskenazi
Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 113, No. 12 (Dec., 2005), pp. 1795-1801
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3436755
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Association of Housing Disrepair Indicators with Cockroach and Rodent Infestations in a Cohort of Pregnant Latina Women and Their Children
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Abstract

Health burdens associated with poor housing and indoor pest infestations are likely to affect young children in particular, who spend most of their time indoors at home. We completed environmental assessments in 644 homes of pregnant Latina women and their children living in the Salinas Valley, California. High residential densities were common, with 39% of homes housing > 1.5 persons per room. Housing disrepair was also common: 58% of homes had peeling paint, 43% had mold, 25% had water damage, and 11% had rotting wood. Evidence of cockoraches and rodents was present in 60% and 32% of homes, respectively. Compared with representative national survey data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, homes in our sample were more likely to have rodents, peeling paint, leaks under sinks, and much higher residential densities. The odds of rodent infestations in homes increased in the presence of peeling paint [odds ratio (OR) 2.1; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.5-3.1], water damage (OR 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-2.7), and mold (OR 1.5; 95% CI, 1.0-2.1). The odds of cockroach infestation increased in the presence of peeling paint (OR 3.8; 95% CI, 2.7-5.6), water damage (OR 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-2.9), or high residential density (OR 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.8). Homes that were less clean than average were more prone to both types of infestations. Pesticides were stored or used in 51% of households, partly to control roach and rodent infestations. These data indicate that adverse housing conditions are common in this community and increase the likelihood of pest infestations and home pesticide use. Interventions to improve housing and promote children's health and safety in this population are needed.

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