I’ve been struggling since June of 2007 with living with an apartment that is 100% occupied by many layers of cigarette smoke. I’ve done way more than the average person in trying to constructively get rid of the most important layers. I have not found the city or HUD so far as being helpful. HUD told me they hire New York State to do the investigation. Oh yeah, see you next year and in another Article 78. Doh!
The first layer of my apartment’s problem was from illegal smoking in the hallways, elevator, stairwell and laundry. I’ve been reporting the violations diligently to the online smoke free form for NYC. I find it much more efficient for my time and efforts to use than 311. At least I have a track record of what was said, I just send the page to my email. I am eventually sent an SR whether its from 311 or this form that gives me a link to the website. Doh!
Occasionally I’ll call 311. I don’t like to. I think the people are fine for the most part. Its not their fault they are bound to use an inefficient and bogus IT system. 311 is a pain to use and gives nothing in return for the efforts you make. Most cases they can’t handle, they are spinning it off to some other city bureaucracy that also can’t handle the job.
So I’ve been making public testimony by way of my various blogs. I bought a $300 air monitoring machine. I put it into effect as of yesterday. I am just systematically doing spot checks. The places that were first the problem, the places that are so toxic that I can’t be there or I start barfing up my guts. Unfortunately this is every spot in my apartment. Oh well carry on.
What I found is the highest level of small particle concentration was in the bedroom. The place where I became so violently ill during Christmas that I could not even standup without my insides coming out for five days. I called in sick three days in a row. They were told I had poisoning. I was told to not come back to work, even though after 3 years of working there and asking for perm, I was at the tail end of their initial interview.
The level of small particle concentration in this apartment would give the EPA goosebumps. And there is a base of what this apartment might be if no one was smoking. I got it last night with monitor under my bed. There is about 45 minutes when people aren’t smoking. The base is quite low, quite good. I also received an alarmingly high fine particle count for those sleeping hours at that spot. I think I can rule out the Deegan Expressway down the street as part of my problem.
In fact, I think I now have an airtight case against all of the parties involved in human rights violation against me in this apartment. Air monitoring, personal testimony, several witnesses, other people in the building testimony, letters to landlord, marketing director and their responses, over 100 online forms to the City, letters to the Departments of Environment, Buildings, Sanitation, Tobacco Unit and HUD. All beginning from June, 2007. Indeed someone is going to be going down besides me for a change.
In this case I am writing I propose what I want from this landlord and building. I want that every smoker have to take responsibility for their smoke. They need to seal their apartment and they need to use a viable air cleaner. I have read it costs $2,500 to seal your apartment. Maybe. A first step is a $10 can of removable caulk around all the baseboards. It will go a long way towards smoker responsibility. As for air cleaners being too expensive and not working, this tole me about the success of using a box fan and a filter strapped onto the front. A person could put that aircleaner together for less than $40. It could cost up to $15. I pay $15 for the various energy efficient air cleaners I have in this apartment. I will be able to do all sorts of tests with this air monitor. Once I get a solid track record for all the spots of my apartment I can then start placing air cleaners there and see what their effect is. If it helps at all. Just from smelling when I took down the air cleaners the air in my apartment and all my things was very stale, old tobacco smell. The air cleaners help remove the stale, not the old tobacco.
Yes as a non-smoker I pay $15 for someone to smoke. Does that sound right?
The other item I am offering in the case is that illegal smoking cannot be tolerated. That the building and city have not done enough. One xerox page on one wall on each hallway is not enough. They need to put a more visible sign with red on it and also offering Spanish on each wall of the hallway and each entrance and exit of the stairwell, the elevator and on each wall of the laundry, entry and exit. They need to snail mail a letter to each tenant of the building about their intent to enforce the City’s $2,000 fine for this violation. And they need to do it tomorrow, none of this “can’t be done overnight” and “be patient” eight month bullshit.
I am going to sue them and all parties for big time money. If that money is awarded each coop shareowner will have a large assessment. Does that make sense? That all should pay for other people’s smoking?
I despise litigation and surely I don’t want to do it. But I will. The hearing pitch of the City is only at the litigation level.