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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

Ontario Hospital Surgery Wait times site.

Canadian Lung Association

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.

Click below on the subject you want to jump to:
Air Pollution Asthma
Bed Bugs Cockroaches
Diseases: West Nile Virus, etc Heat and Cold: Hyperthermia and Hypothermia
Lead Paint Mice droppings
Mould Other Pests: Ants, fleas, mosquitos, etc.
Pesticides Pigeons

Heat and Cold: Hyperthermia and Hypothermia

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

Heed experts' tips to beat the heat, Toronto Star, June 24, 2003

Air Pollution

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


CMHC's tips: What you can do about your house to help with asthma

Asthma Society of Canada with information for adults and children

No Attacks: Tips on how to prevent your child's asthma attacks (and some allergy tips too)

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

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


What is Cockroach Allergy?

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp tips:
    Getting rid of cockroaches the least toxic way
    Controlling cockroaches the better, least toxic way
    Using the least toxic pet control products with a warning about roach repelling chalk!

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

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

Mold or Toxic Mold

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. tip: Fighting Mould

Security World's: Toxic Mold Alert

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

Chronic sinus problems may be caused by moulds, CBC News

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.

Mould Scientific Descriptions - Prof. D. Malloch, Dept. of Botany, U. of Toronto
Alternaria Aspergillus Cladosporium Fusarium Penicillium Stachybotrys Streptomyces

Other Pests: Ants, fleas, mosquitos, spiders and more

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

Pigeons (Columba livia)

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.

Other diseases such as West Nile Virus

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

Canadian Medical Association Journal - West Nile Virus Information

DEET may harm kids, experts say, by Robin Harvey, Toronto Star, May 7, 2003

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