Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Ohio bedbug legislation

An article in July 4th.’s Cincinnati Enquirer relates to a bill State Representative Dale Mallory introduced the first part of last month, "to put bedbugs on par with roaches, rats and other vermin so health departments can take more decisive action against property owners." The article also admits that "in most states, including Ohio & Kentucky, bedbugs aren't considered a health threat because they aren't known to carry disease, so health departments can do little to force property owners to clean up infestations." An earlier senate bill would require owners of apartment buildings with 30 or more units to "eradicate vermin infestation from their buildings," "vermin" being defined as "any noxious, objectionable, or disgusting insect or animal, including lice, bedbugs, cockroaches, mice, and rats."

Mallory's bill also includes a provision for funding and was referred to the Finance & Appropriations Committee.

Although bedbugs don't represent health hazards, as such, they've received a lot of attention in the past couple of months including being the topic of an EPA "summit" in Arlington, Virginia last April, and the subject of a bill introduced in the House of Representatives, initially last year, and resubmitted in May. That bill centers on the establishment of a grant program to assist states in the inspection of hotel rooms and directing the Center for Disease Control & Prevention to "investigate the public health implications of bed bugs on lodging & housing, with specific consideration of the impact on mental health of bed bugs, their potential for spreading infectious disease, and contributing to other diseases such as asthma.," with a report to Congress due by December 2010.

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