State Senator Jose Peralta knows what’s bugging his constituents.
A new bill sponsored by Peralta, chair of the Senate’s Consumer Protection Committee, should take a bigger bite out of the escalating bedbug problem in Queens by concentrating on retail practices.
Peralta’s bill would require retailers to sanitize every used mattress or bedding material transported, stored or sold in the state.
According to The New York Times, bedbug complaints have doubled in the city since last year to 11,000 complaints and 4,084 violations cited. The hardest hit areas in Queens are the Rockaways and the eastern section of the borough.
The bill requires that all used bedding up for resale must be sanitized using a method approved by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYDOHMH) that is intended to kill bedbugs, dust mites, other insects, molds, fungi, germs or other hazards.
The proposed legislation addresses the need for sanitizing second-hand bedding and preventing used bedding that has not been sanitized from being transported, stored or sold with new bedding. It will also define all mattresses that are purchased and returned and will require them to be properly cleaned and clearly identified as a used product.
If passed, the bill would require full disclosure of sanitization methods and chemicals used for cleaning. It will also require annual inspections of bedding manufacturers and eliminate the prior definition of a new mattress that was purchased and returned to the retailer within 30 days.
The bill has moved out of the Consumer Protection Committee and is expected to be voted on this year.