Protect Residents From Toxins in Flood-Damaged Buildings

Target: New Orleans City Attorney Rebecca H. Dietz

Goal: Demolish dangerous ruined buildings in the Upper 9th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana.

It has been eleven years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, Louisiana, and there are still neighborhoods that are experiencing devastating effects. In the Upper 9th Ward of the city, decaying buildings throughout the neighborhood are more than just an eyesore – they are a health hazard. Disease-carrying vermin have found a perfect breeding ground, the air is so heavy with mold and mildew that the smell is immediately noticeable, and residents are fearful about the toll it is taking on their bodies.

Bacteria and mold circulates in the air and exposes people to toxins that can cause long-term health problems. According to immunotoxicologist Jack Dwayne Thrasher, this bacteria and mold produces nanoparticles. Prolonged exposure to these nanoparticles can cause chronic conditions such as headaches, diseases of the respiratory system, kidney, and liver, and even possible neurological damage.

After Katrina, residents of the Upper 9th Ward returned to their city when New Orleans encouraged them to stand by their homes and help rebuild. But their city has not held up its end of the deal. The people of the Upper 9th Ward remain largely forgotten, living among the dangerous ruins of a decade-old tragedy that the city still has not dealt with. Demand that New Orleans demolish the flood-damaged ruins, and protect its citizens from the toxins they are exposed to.


Dear City Attorney Dietz,

It is undeniable that in the wake of Katrina the effects have been long-lasting. But after eleven years, it is unacceptable that citizens of New Orleans are still living among wreckage that is putting their health at risk. Residents of the Upper 9th Ward deserve to live in comfort and safety, and the decaying structures filled with vermin, mold, and mildew prevent that from being possible.

The bacteria and mold that breeds in these buildings produces nanoparticles that circulate through the air, and those living in the Upper 9th Ward are forced to breathe these toxins day in and day out. Residents fear for their health. Exposure to these nanoparticles cause long-term health problems like headaches, liver, kidney, and respiratory diseases, and neurological damage.

Many of the people living in this district returned to their homes in order to help their city rebuild. Now they must ask whether their city has forgotten them. Please do not allow this hazard to continue. I urge you to put all of your efforts into ridding the city of these dangerous structures.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Karen Apricot

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