Current Content
Volume 36, Number 1
January/February 2010

Incorporating Environmental Health into Nursing Practice: A Case Study on Indoor Air Quality
Glenda Barnes
Barbara Fisher
Julie Postma
Kelly Harnish,
Patricia Butterfield
Wade Hill


More than one-quarter of the global disease burden is attributable to environmental exposures, with children bearing a disproportionate amount of risk. Physiologically and behaviorally, children have unique characteristics that make them vulnerable to environmental contaminants. In particular, indoor environmental exposures, such as carbon monoxide, mold, and radon, have an impact on children's health and well being. A case study based on the experiences of nurses wo rking on the Environmental Risk Reduction through Nursing Intervention and Education study is presented to illustrate multiple exposures children may face in the home environment and the role nurses play in prevention and response. Nurses can improve children's environmental health by providing risk assessments, environmental health education, and referrals to community health nurses and environmental health specialists. Resources on indoor air quality and maintaining a healthy home are provided.