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Editorial: Christopher city needs immediate solution

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
March 7, 2000
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When an apartment is infested with termites, the landlord generally arranges for the pests' extermination. And when a tenant needs a drain unclogged, a super is generally available to disassemble the pipes or administer the Liquid Drano. Sometimes it takes a couple of days, a week or so, maybe even a couple of months.

But if you live in Christopher City, it could take a year or two to get help with residential predicaments - even if the problems threaten tenants' health.

In the past few weeks, several people have reported health problems they believe are linked to their homes in Christopher City.

All of these afflictions have been linked to the possible presence of the toxic mold stachybotrys chartarum in the University of Arizona family housing development.

Julia Rosen, a UA Risk Management health and safety officer, said the toxic mold, which has already been identified in two apartments, can grow in the cellulose material like that in carpet padding.

Right now, apartments with small children are being inspected for presence of the toxic mold, and within the month, a full inspection of the complex will be administered.

But people have had to make cameos in hospital rooms and doctors' offices in order to receive the proper attention from their university landlords.

One woman has coughed up blood and had been in a coma. Another woman suffered intestinal, stomach and balance problems, and one man said he has suffered health problems since he moved to Christopher City two years ago.

That same man said he pointed out the presence of stachybotrys chartarum a year ago.

In real life, an apartment complex or housing development is run like a business instead of a storage lot. Residents should be listened to, and their concerns should be considered instead of thrown in a house and quieted with easy fixes.

The fact that a consulting firm will be investigating appearances of the toxic mold is a step in the right direction. But this will fail to benefit residents if there is no follow up action to clean up the complex.

Residence Life officials said they have no plans to sell Christopher City, but if they want to keep their tenants - and keep them safe - they need to examine constructive solutions to current heath concerns.

It is pertinent that the consulting firm works with Residence Life and Risk Management quickly and efficiently instead of putting things off for a while - again.

Christopher City residents should not have to sacrifice their health to receive adequate family

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