While the Center for Environmental Health can investigate and address many types of complaints, there are several common areas of concern that fall outside the scope of the rules and regulations that we enforce. In an effort to assist our community in dealing with issues that fall outside of our jurisdiction, we are providing the following external resources that may offer regulatory assistance and/or guidance:
Mold Issues with Houses, Apartments, or Businesses
In Georgia, there are no enforceable rules and regulations that determine what is an unhealthy exposure to mold. Mold can be addressed from a sanitation standpoint by our department if it is found in a facility that is permitted by the Center for Environmental Health, such as restaurants, hotels, motels, commercial swimming pools, and body art studios; however, we cannot address mold in residential or other business settings.
If the mold issue is occurring in your privately owned home, effective cleaning guidelines can be found at the EPA’s “Mold Cleanup in Your Home” web page.
If the mold issue is occurring in a rental property, the responsibility for repairs and maintenance is held by the landlord. If the landlord is not responding to a request to address a mold issue, the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook (starting on Page 10) details the process that tenants must follow to seek an effective resolution to the situation. Additional legal guidance can be found at www.lawhelp.com. Free and low-cost legal assistance may be found for qualifying individuals through the Legal Aid Society. If the mold issue is in an apartment and related to a mechanical or structural failure, you may contact your local building inspections department to file a complaint. Though building departments can’t address mold directly, they may be able to address the underlying moisture issue that is supporting mold growth.
Pest Control Issues Inside Houses, Apartments, and Businesses
The Center for Environmental Health can address pest control issues (roaches, ants, bedbugs, and rodents) if they are found in a facility that we permit and inspect, such as restaurants, hotels, motels, commercial swimming pools, and body art studios. We cannot address pest control issues in residential or other business settings beyond external issues that may be contributing to the problem, such as improperly stored garbage, yard debris, and brush piles. If tall grass is contributing to the pest problem, this may be addressed by your local code enforcement office if they have adopted a property maintenance ordinance.
If the pest control issue is occurring in your privately owned home, University of Georgia Extension (Georgia Pest Management Handbook) and the EPA (Do’s and Don’ts of Pest Control) offer several resources to assist you in safely addressing indoor and outdoor pest issues. Information related to mosquito and bedbug issues can be found here.
If the pest control issue occurs at a rental property, the responsibility for pest control should be outlined in your lease. If your lease indicates that the landlord is responsible for pest control in your home, and they are not responding to a request to address the situation, the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook (starting on Page 10) details the process that tenants must follow to seek an effective resolution to the situation. Additional legal guidance can be found at www.lawhelp.com. Free and low-cost legal assistance may be found for qualifying individuals through the Legal Aid Society.
Grocery and Convenience Store Complaints
Grocery stores and convenience stores are retail food sales establishments that fall under the authority of the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Complaints related to these facilities can be directed to their central office (404-656-3627) or their metro district office (404-363-7646). Food service areas of these facilities will typically be inspected by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, but if it is branded like a traditional restaurant chain (Subway, Starbucks, etc.), it would be handled by the Center for Environmental Health.
Hair and Nail Salon Complaints
Hair and nail salons are under the authority of the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers. Complaints related to these facilities may be submitted online.
Personal Care Home, Assisted Living Facility, and Nursing Home Complaints
The operation of personal care homes, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes is under the authority of the Georgia Department of Community Health. Complaints related to these types of facilities may be directed to their toll-free number or their online complaint form. Complaints related to the food service component of these operations may be directed to the Center of Environmental Health unless it is for a personal care home that has less than 25 residents.
Daycare Center and Preschool Complaints
The operation of daycare centers and preschools is under the authority of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. Complaints related to these types of facilities may be reported by calling 404-656-5957 or 1-888-442-7735.