The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5095.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 12:48 PM

Abstract #57350

Public housing and safer pest control: Results from a pilot program in New York City

Daniel Kass, MPH, Community HealthWorks, Childhood Asthma Initiative, Research and Evaluation, New York City Department of Health, 40 Worth Street, CHW Room 1607, New York, NY 10013, 917-731-6876,, Theodore Outwater, BA, Worker Education and Training Program, NIEHS, PO Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, and Brian Clarke, BA, New York City Housing Authority, 23-02 49th Ave, 5th Floor, Queens, NY 11101.

Cockroach and mouse allergens are linked to asthma morbidity among children, and pest prevalence is highest in inner cities. The NYC Housing Authority, Department of Health and Hunter College collaborated to test an innovative building-wide approach to integrated pest management. This study evaluated whether integrated pest management (IPM) out-performed the traditional practice of spraying residual pesticides. We hired and trained public housing residents to carry out extensive cleaning, sealing, vacuuming and application of least toxic pest control in kitchens and bathrooms in a 600 unit, 4-building development. Residents received pest control training during apartment interventions and through group sessions and were given food and waste storage containers and cleaning supplies. We used a quasi-experimental design to compare outcomes in a random selection of apartments in a building receiving IPM to those in a building with continued traditional pest control practice. At baseline, three- and six-months post- intervention, we interviewed residents and trapped cockroaches. The study found that IPM is effective at changing residents' use of hazardous chemicals to control pests, at modifying resident food storage and hygiene practices, and improving residents' feelings about their landlord's building maintenance practices, compared to recipients of traditional pest control. Cockroach populations declined significantly in apartments receiving IPM and logistic regression tests of IPM success found significant improvement in apartments receiving IPM compared to traditionally managed apartments. All effects lasted at least six months following apartment treatment, and are statistically significant (p<.05). Policy implications of these findings will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Pesticides, Public Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: New York City Housing Authority, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Employees

Environmental Toxics - Indoor Air Quality in the Home and Workplace

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA