Legislation Regarding Mold and Other Environmental Irritants

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Legislation is in Committee in the State of New York to address the health crisis associated with mold, cockroach, and mice in New York tenancies. Exposure to mold, mouse and cockroach droppings is associated with a higher risk of developing asthma and other lung diseases. Many homes and apartments in the New York area are infested with vermin and have recurring problems with black mold.

Currently, New York does not always consider exposure to these environmental hazards to require an immediate remedy by landlords. This new legislation, introduced by City Councilwoman Rosa Mendez, seeks to address this. It is called the Asthma-Free Housing Act, and it has two major goals.

The first goal is to change current city regulations regarding how a landlord must respond to rodent infestations. The law would require landlords to remediate these problems more promptly, significantly reducing the amount of time children are exposed to allergens and irritants. Long-term exposure has been demonstrated to be significantly more dangerous than short-term exposure.

The second part would fund additional education for healthcare providers regarding asthma and its development. Doctors would be encouraged and trained to ask families about potential exposure to mold and other environmental irritants if the child starts showing symptoms of asthma. Mold exposure, particularly exposure to “black mold,” is particularly dangerous for children because their lungs are still developing. Damage done to lung tissue at early age has consequences for the rest of the child’s life, and black mold and cockroaches are particularly linked to the development of lung conditions.

If you or your child has suffered due to mold exposure, or exposure to other environmental toxins, and has developed a health condition, holding the responsible party accountable is important. Please, retain an experienced attorney who can help you press for your rights to be acknowledged, and for the compensation to which you are entitled.