Protestors were out in force the other day demanding that authorities take action against landlords who fail to rid homes of dangerous mold, mildew, dust, rodent infestation, bedbugs, cockroaches and harmful pesticides. These harmful agents of disease and death are most widespread in the poorer areas of NYC. Extermination helps control problems but repairs and lifestyle changes are often needed too. Activists want the Department of Health to amend the health code to include these agents as asthma triggers. To this point, the DOH insists additional study is required to make health code requirements any stronger.
Molds in particular can cause severe breathing problems. This should be of great concern to all New Yorkers where an estimated 300,000 children have been diagnosed with asthma. It’s important to note that asthma is the number one cause of children being absent from school. One problem leads to another.
All sides must work together to reduce this problem. Landlords must provide safe and healthy living conditions for tenants. Tenants must be held to a higher standard for keeping their homes clean and available for monthly exterminating. Lastly, the government should take immediate and appropriate action against whoever is responsible for poor sanitary conditions. If they can insist that transfats be removed from our burgers, they should act even more aggressively to eliminate bigger dangers that put our children and the rest of us at greater risk.