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
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
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