Task force tackles asthma ills

Proposed city laws aimed at providing a breath of fresh air for asthma sufferers would result in stiffer maintenance requirements for property owners when selling or remodeling homes.

The legislation, put forth by a task force charged to develop a plan to manage and prevent asthma citywide, would make upgrades to air-filtering and ventilation systems when a property in San Francisco is sold, transferred or remodeled, according to San Francisco Department of Public Health official Karen Cohn.

The group is also recommending a housing-code change that would require landlords to not only provide and maintain ventilation and heating, but also change air filters regularly, according to Cohn.

Some of San Francisco’s poorest neighborhoods have asthma hospitalization rates four to five times greater than the Richmond and Sunset, according to a report the task force released Tuesday.

The Bayview and the Tenderloin also have the highest rates of code violations for housing safety and habitability, according to the report.

“These numbers represent children who are getting sick, children who are going to the hospital in the middle of the night,” said Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who represents Bayview-Hunters Point.

The legislation is being drafted by the City Attorney’s Office, and should be finished by the end of May, according to spokesman Matt Dorsey. It would then go to the Board of Supervisors for a vote.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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