Tenant Health Issues: Apartment toxic mold, cockroaches, asthma, mice, lead paint, indoor air quality.
There are many health issues of importance to tenants. These are even more important when considering infants, seniors and those who are immuno-compromised.
No matter whether you call it toxic mold or mould, stachybotrus or stachybotrys, tenants wonder why school portables are being torn down and government buildings shut down due to "toxic mold", but you never seem to hear about it happening in apartment buildings, when you can find some types of mold in many buildings.
What are the health implications of having cockroaches and mice? Have you heard about Cockroach allergies?
Can these problems worsen or even cause asthma?
If you have bad infestation problems with insects or mice or bad mould problems, you can bring in your municipalities city health inspectors free of charge. Find your Ontario city or town government web site here.
For all your health information needs, you can search the Canadian Health Network
For information on nutrition and diet, you can look at the Dietitians of Canada Web site
Eat Well, Eat Safe, University of Guelph covers a wide range of issues, from food poisoning to food recalls.
Children's Health Environmental Network. A U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public, specifically parents and caregivers, about environmental toxins that affect children's health.
Public Health Agency of Canada, Government of Canada site
Children's Health and the Environment, City of Toronto Public Health Department report, September 2005.
If you came here thinking that there was information on the minimum temperature the landlord must maintain the apartment at, then go to my Tenants' 21 Most Asked Questions and Their Answers
Tips on preventing and managing heat from the U.S. Center for Disease Control
Beat the Heat Tips from the City of Toronto on how to handle hot and Humidex Advisory days
Air Quality Ontario from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy. This site provides the Air Quality Index, forcasts, Smog Alerts and additional information.
All about Smog and Smog Alerts from the City of Toronto
Seniors and Smog from the City of Ottawa
Smog-Wise Information Program from the Ontario Medical Association
Shattering the Myth of Pollution Progress in Canada: A National Report from the Canadian Envirnomental Law Association
Asthma Society of Canada with information for adults and children
Indoor Air Quality and Allergies from the Asthmas and Allergies Foundation of America
Basic Facts about Asthma, from the U.S. Center for Disease Control
Bed Bugs crawling back into Canadian beds, CBC News, Nov. 24, 2003
Bedbugs, by John Barber, Globe and Mail, December 20, 2003
Bed Bugs fact sheet, New York City, Department of Health
Fact Sheet on Bed Bugs from the Department of Medical Entomology, University of Syndey, Australia
Building infested with bedbugs, by Bruce DeMara, Toronto Star, October 22, 2004
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp tips:
Effective Control of Cockroaches (Slow to download this 684k PDF Adobe file) Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada
Pest Control without Pesticides, from the Children's Health Environmental Coalition
Asthma and Cockroaches, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Cockroaches, Asthma and allergies, from the Health on the Net Foundation
Lead Paint In The Home British Columbia Ministry of Health
Lead and Lead Paint, United States Environmental Protection Agency
Lead Programs from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Lead exposure in womb linked to schizophrenia, Toronto Star, February 15, 2004
Tips to rid your house of insects and rodents (Slow to download this 429k PDF Adobe file) Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada
Effective Control of Rats and Mice (Slow to download this 509k PDF Adobe file) Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada
Great Information on identifying and solving mold problems from Case Western University. Mold and bleeding in the lungs of infants, can mold kill babies?
Stachybotrys chartarum and other molds, Questions and Answers from the U.S. Centre for Disease Control
The City of Vancouver has admitted there is a problem with mold in its public housing. Read about it in this Sept. 14, 2001, Vancouver Sun story, Millions to be spent on moldy apartments in public housing. It appears the City of Toronto is not addressing this problem in the Toronto Housing Company public housing buildings it controls; why not, I don't know.
Toxic Mold Report on Risks, on mold in a Calgary health center. Calgary Herald, May 29, 2003
Household Mould Thriving, Globe and May, March 14, 2003. While little of the mold is not "toxic mold", ie. Stachybotrus, all molds can aggravate asthma and allergies, and can lead to or worsen sinus problems.
Cleveland study concludes the cause of death for five babies was toxic mold, Toronto Sun, November 28, 2004
Airborne spores responsible for a hosts of ills, Toronto Sun, November 28, 2004
Mold's Harm Lurks, The Olymipian (Olympia, WA, USA,) October 6, 2002
Toxic mould in aging school portables blamed for fertility problems, National Post, May 17, 2002
Students demonstrate against sick school (toxic mould,) CBC Halifax
Aging Schools, including a description of some mold problems, CBC Street Cents
Mould: Creepy, costly -- and spreading, G&M Jun 28/05
Pulmonary Hemosiderosis in Ontario Infants, 1991-95 Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health and Epidemiology, Report Ontario, PHERO Vol. 9, No. 3, March 27, 1998. The effects of "toxic" molds on babies and young children.
A Compendium of Toxic Mould and Indoor Air Quality Links a huge listing of additional internet resources for those who want to read more about this issue.
Pest Notes on a wide range of problems, from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada
Ants plague tenants of Armoyan apartment The (Halifax) Daily News, November 24, 2001
Ant Baits: A Least Toxic Control University of Nebraska
Ant Control for Schools University of Wisconsin. Written for schools, but great information for tenants.
Beyond Pesticides, National Coalition (U.S.A.) Against the Misuse of Pesticides
Pesticides: Questions and Answers About Safety and Alternatives from the Office of the New York State Attorney General
National Pesticide Information Center a U.S. site
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pesticides home page
Here is a little rant from me: "Stop feeding the pigeons!"
While I am not saying there is anything wrong with pigeons, I am saying there is a severe problem with pigeon overpopulation. And it is the overpopulation that is a problem not just for people and our balconies, but for the pigeons themselves.
A pair of pigeons, with the typical amount of food, will have a total of 2 to 4 chicks a year, over two or three broods. When given as much food as they can gorge on, a breeding pair of pigeons, can have 10 or more chicks in a year.
And while some misguided souls think they are doing the pigeons (or Rock Doves, as they will probably prefer to call them,) a favour, they are not. This extreme overpopulation is leading to massive starvation of pigeons come the winter months.
Unfortunately, this is an emotional issue for some people. There are those who say that pigeons, no matter what their numbers, are an asset to our cities, and others claim they are a breeding ground for disease. Regardless, of your emotional feeling towards these creatures, it is the overpopulation that is the problem and needs to be seriously addressed, to ultimately solve the problems.
Living with urban wildlife: Pigeons from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. Advice on how not to attract, and what to do, about pigeons.
Pigeon Nuisance Problems advice from the U.S. Connecticut Department of Environment Protection
Control of Health Hazards Associatied with Bird and Bat Droppings from (U.S) New Jersey Department of Health and Seniors Services. A 7 page 430k Adobe PDF file. This bulletin covers the health risks and the control of the risks of several fungal diseases associated with bird droppings.
Mosquito Control Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada PDF Adobe file
West Nile Virus Information from the City of Toronto
West Nile Virus Questions and Answers from the Center For Disease Control
West Nile Virus Information Health Canada
DEET may harm kids, experts say, by Robin Harvey, Toronto Star, May 7, 2003