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Study: Bronx Subsidized Developments Are Worst For Pests, Mold, Air Quality

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Lawmakers in a new report Thursday said Bronx developments topped a survey of units with the poorest air quality and the most mold and pest violations.

State Sens. Jeff Klein and Jose M. Serrano (D-The Bronx), and assemblymen Victor Pichardo and Luis Sepulveda (D-N.Y.), along with community leaders and experts, released, "The Dirty Dozen: Dirty and Infested Air in Subsidized Apartments in New York City," according to a news release.

The report tracked subsidized developments with the most mold and pest violations – problems that ruin indoor air quality and can lead to asthma and other respiratory conditions, the release said.

The lawmakers noted that the Bronx developments topped the "Dirty Dozen" list – and said the revelations might shed new light on the recent outbreaks and cluster discoveries of Legionnaires' disease in the borough recently.

Legionella bacteria in a hotel cooling tower caused an outbreak of the disease in the South Bronx over the summer that contributed to at least 12 deaths.

cSince then, a cluster of Legionnaires' cases has been discovered in the Morris Park neighborhood, and one person in the cluster has died.

"It is no wonder that The Bronx has suffered a disproportionate number of Legionnaires' cases, when you look at these subsidized buildings left in fetid conditions. This filth is scientifically connected to asthma and other respiratory illnesses, which also leave residents at a higher risk for Legionnaires', and numerous other diseases," Klein said in the release. "Unscrupulous landlords are giving these tenants squalor for our dollar and it's unacceptable."

The report focused on pest and mold violation tickets to 2,528 publicly-subsidized developments. A dozen developments accounted for almost 20 percent of violations, the release said.

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