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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Housing & Environmental Justice
Type: Press Advisory

Asthmatic Youth and Parents to Rally at Department of Health, Calling for Stronger Response to Mold and Pests

Immediate Release***

Contact:  Irene Tung cell (718) 755-6750, (718)
418-7690 ext. 231,

Asthmatic Youth and Parents to Rally
at Department of Health,

Calling for Stronger Response to
Mold and Pests, Citing Missed School Days

Wearing protective masks, waving inhalers, and carrying
signs that say, "We deserve to breathe!" over seventy asthmatic
Latino and African-American students will
 speak about how unsafe living
conditions have exacerbated their asthma and caused them to miss up to 25 days
of school a year

Representatives from the Department
of Health Declined to Meet with Parents and Students, and Refused to Amend
Health Code

What:   Asthma is the number one cause of
missed school days in New York City.

  • According to
    the New York City
    Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s own reports, families living
    housing conditions like roaches and mice can be up to two times more
    likely to
    have asthma. DoHMH has also found that Latinos are up to three times
    likely to resort to hazardous products like sprays and foggers.
  • A recent study by Saint Vincent’s
    Hospital in Manhattan
    determined that there is a correlation between spore counts and the likelihood
    of developing childhood asthma.
  • According to a report by the New
    York City Public Advocate, between 1999 and 2004, the Department of Health and
    Mental Hygiene experienced a more than 1800% increase in mold complaints.
  • A report by the Comptroller in
    September states that while citywide, childhood asthma rates have declined in
    the past 5 years, in several low-income neighborhoods such as Bushwick, Ridgewood and Canarsie-Flatlands, rates have actually
    increased. Bushwick also has the highest concentration of open housing code
    violations in the city.
  • The DoHMH has the power to amend the
    Health Code in order to regulate indoor asthma triggers, but refuse to do so. Asthmatic
    students and parents will call on the DoHMH to enact enforceable guidelines for
    safe remediation of mold and pest problems, stronger response to these
    problems, better training in the city agencies responsible for inspection and
    remediation, and greater education and outreach about indoor asthma

Who:           Youth Members of Make
the Road NY and their parents                  

When:         Tuesday, November 6th at 1:30 PM

Where:        Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene at 125 Worth St.,
between Centre St.
and Lafayette St.
(6 or M to Canal St.

Visuals:       Youth wearing protective masks holding
their asthma pumps, Giant Asthma pump