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The challenge of mold in the apartment has attracted the attention of health experts, politicians, agencies, tenants, and landlords in New Jersey. Prolonged exposure to spores and other fungal fragments puts many people at risk of various health complications. In this state, there are no measures put in place to compel landlords to tackle this health problem in their apartments. This paper presents a summary of several articles and publications addressing the problem of mold in apartments and why different agencies and citizens should consider it as a major public health concern in New Jersey. It also presents the cons and pros of each side of this problem.
Thesis statement: Since there are no adequate policies or laws in New Jersey covering the roles and responsibilities of landlords when it comes to the problem of mold, counties should introduce superior regulations that can compel landlords to protect their tenants from the illnesses and costs associated with this public health problem.
Past studies have presented various observations regarding the predicament of mold in apartments and buildings. Most of the consulted publications and articles have identified this as a major public health challenge that policymakers and medical professionals should take seriously. For instance, Napoliello (2018) reveals that mold will grow on surfaces that remain damp for long periods of time, such as wood, tiles, walls, and rugs.
Mota (2017) acknowledges that these fungi exist in homes in the form of tiny spores. The common type is called Stachybotrys chartarum, and it is greenish-black in color. It grows on ceilings, woods, and drywalls after prolonged exposure to moisture. Some strains produce mycotoxins that expose human beings to numerous health risks (Mota, 2017). Individuals who monitor them in their houses will have higher chances of addressing this health issue.
The absence of superior laws in New Jersey makes it impossible for landlords to eliminate mold in apartments and safeguard their tenants. This gap explains why the issue has become a major health hazard in this state (Leshnower, n.d.). The background of the Senate Bill 2632 of 2011 reveals that the current regulations in New Jersey only empower different associations to pursue action plans that can support the safety, health, and welfare of residents in the targeted community. This means that the state lacks proper policies to deal with the problem of mold in apartments (S. B. 2632, 2011). Consequently, many people have continued to experience various health problems due to the presence of these compounds in their houses.
This state’s department of health guides landlords and homeowners to remove mold whenever it grows in their houses. Mota (2017) observed that such an evidence-based practice could minimize the challenges and health issues associated with molds. The same position is held by different agencies across the country, including the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Increased quantities of mold in apartments can pose numerous public health problems to many people.
The selected articles go further to highlight the unique health problems associated with mold in different apartments. For instance, Napoliello (2018) argues that molds are dangerous to people who have or experience allergic reactions. Individuals who are sensitive to them will record a wide range of symptoms, including sinus irritation, coughing, skin rashes, burning sensation, reddened eyes, wheezing, and congestion. Such reactions are risk factors for these complicated conditions: common colds, hay fever, and asthma.
People living with various terminal conditions tend to have diverse problems with their immune systems. Those living in apartments infested with mold will have increased chances of getting infections (Napoliello, 2018). The common side effects include prolonged headaches, migraines, asthma attacks, memory problems, nose-bleeding, muscle pains, and mood swings.
Individuals living in apartments with molds inhale air containing spores and other harmful compounds. According to Mota (2017), there is long-term health effects many people record after ingesting mold. Allergic disease is a major condition related to prolonged exposure to mold. Unfortunately, very little is currently known about the relationship between various terminal conditions and exposure to spores. Future studies are, therefore, needed to present evidence-based ideas and information that can empower and guide more people to address this problem.
People living in houses containing large quantities of these molds will have reduced concentration levels. Mota (2017) asserts that the chances of becoming fatigued also increase significantly depending on the period of exposure. These health problems are far-reaching and explain why there is a need for evidence-based policies to support the needs of more tenants. Since New Jersey does not have powerful laws supporting the removal and management of mold in apartments, all stakeholders and politicians should join hands to propose superior ideas for ensuring that landlords are responsible for this problem. These issues and gaps should, therefore, become the best guiding principles to introduce superior policies and improve this state’s public health outcomes.
Pros and Cons
As described above, mold in apartments continues to raise numerous concerns among health professionals, policymakers, and state administrators. On one side of this issue are experts who acknowledge that it has triggered a major public health problem in New Jersey. Napoliello (2018) believes that there are unique advantages that will emerge if stakeholders introduce superior regulations to address this problem.
The first one is that such new policies will compel landlords and consultants to focus on the issue and implement evidence-based measures to deal with it (Kolodziejczyk & Bozek, 2016). The second benefit is that more citizens will be ready to control molds in their respective buildings. Another advantage is that appropriate laws will emerge to deal with this challenge (Pizzorno & Shippy, 2016). Community services professionals and public health workers will also acquire superior ideas and concepts for addressing the problem of mold in apartments.
Specific challenges will emerge whenever dealing with this health challenge using the proposed strategy. The first one is that the decision to support new initiatives aimed at removing mold in New Jersey’s apartments will discourage more citizens from tackling this problem in their homes (Napoliello, 2018). The second one is that individuals with chronic conditions will be unwilling to take this issue diligently. This is the case since there are other possible triggers of allergic conditions. The proposal to acknowledge that mold in apartments amounts to a major public health concern will result in prolonged court proceedings between tenants and landlords (Mota, 2017). Individuals who choose to sue owners of buildings will lose time and financial resources.
The other side of this topic focuses on various arguments that indicate that the current levels of molds in different apartments do not pose a major public health challenge. This move can present various pros that people can take into consideration. Firstly, people will engage in self-management practices to minimize molds in their houses. Secondly, tenants can identify evidence-based initiatives to reduce molds in apartments without involving their landlords (Pizzorno & Shippy, 2016). Thirdly, more counties in the state will address the problem successfully.
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Some problems or disadvantages might emerge when people fail to examine the issue of molds in buildings from an informed perspective. The first one is that the state’s department of public health will not take the concern seriously. The outcome is that more people will continue to record negative medical outcomes (Kolodziejczyk & Bozek, 2016). The second challenge is that more landlords might become reluctant and ignore this problem. Another weakness is that more people will record increased health challenges than ever before.
The studied articles have supported the reality that molds pose a major public health problem to many citizens in New Jersey. The discussion has encouraged both landlords and tenants to engage in evidence-based initiatives that can minimize the threats of these health hazards. A detailed analysis of the cons and pros associated with each side is a process that can empower all stakeholders to implement powerful action plans to address this concern.
Kolodziejczyk, K., & Bozek, A. (2016). Clinical distinctness of allergic rhinitis in patients with allergy to molds. BioMed Research International, 2016, 1-6. Web.
Leshnower, R. (n.d.). New Jersey rules regarding mold in rental properties. No. Web.
Mota, C. (2017). Mold and flooding, but no heat: Residents unite to take on mega-landlord. The Jersey Journal. Web.
Napoliello, A. (2018). Residents escape their nasty, mold-infested apartment building. NJ.com. Web.
Pizzorno, J., & Shippy, A. (2016). Is mold toxicity really a problem for our patients? Part 2—Nonrespiratory conditions. Integrative Medicine, 15(3), 8-14.