ADULT & FAMILIESCommunity ServicesPublic Health Nuisances   

What is a Public Health Nuisance?

A public health nuisance is different from a public nuisance or a code violation. Minnesota Statute 145A defines a “public health nuisance" as any activity or failure to act that adversely affects the public health. Further, it gives the local board of health or its agent the authority to remove or abate the threat within a specified time. Typically, a public health nuisance relates to a source of filth or sickness that provides the opportunity for the spread of communicable disease.

Examples of a public health nuisance include the accumulation of human or animal feces, rotting food waste, evidence of rodent or insect infestation, accumulation of solid waste OR lack of water or sewage disposal. It is important to know and realize that a “messy” or “cluttered” home is not necessarily a public health nuisance. To investigate a public health nuisance we need first hand knowledge of the situation. We do not investigate rumors or anonymous complaints. 

Contact: Call the St Louis County Public Health & Human Service Department office nearest you: Duluth 218-725-5210; Virginia 218-749-0600; Hibbing 218-262-6000; Ely 218-365-8220; or call toll free 800-450-9777.

Resources for Public Health Nuisances

Visit the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) website for information on a variety of health issues.  

Air Quality: Although many air pollutants are invisible, they can seriously impact our health, the environment, and our quality of life. Learn more about Air Quality... 

Bed Bugs: Bed bugs have received much attention in recent years, especially as travelers come into contact with infestations of this blood-feeding insect. Learn more about Bed bugs...

Head Lice: Head lice are tiny insects that make their home in human hair. Anyone can get head lice and it is fairly common in school-age. Learn more about Head Lice...

Lead Poisoning: In Minnesota, approximately 1.2 million homes were built before 1978. Many of these pre-1978 homes contain some lead paint. Learn more about Lead Poisoning...

Meth: The Methamphetamine Laboratory Program at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) works to protect human health by providing technical advice on the remediation (cleaning) of clandestine methamphetamine production laboratories (meth labs) and decontamination of property exposed to meth lab activities. Learn more about Meth and the Meth Lab Program... 

Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is a rare, fatal form of respiratory cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Learn more about Mesotheliomia in Minnesota...

Mold: Mold is a type of fungus that is present in our natural environment. Mold spores, which are tiny microscopic ‘seeds’, can be found virtually everywhere, including in homes, and are a part of the general dust found in homes. Learn more about Mold...

Rabies: Rabies is a fatal neurologic disease caused by a virus. It is spread through saliva so a rabid animal must bite another animal or human in order to spread the virus. Though there is no cure after symptoms of the disease appear, a series of shots after exposure to the saliva of a rabid animal will prevent rabies. Learn more about Rabies...

Radon: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, that means it continuously decays and releases radiation. It is produced from minerals in soil, such as uranium and radium. It is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Learn more about Radon...