Bay View Vitamin D Deficiency Spike Attributed To High Rise Developments

April 1, 2018

By Ruth Booth, Public Health Nurse


Many of those who regularly work, play, or live in one of the older homes along Kinnickinnic Avenue are being treated
for vitamin D deficiencies, according to physicians at Coronado St. Mary’s Clinics. Residents and workers are reporting bone fractures, muscle weakness, unexplained fatigue, and other symptoms.

Public health officials attribute the spike in rickets to the boom of high-rise, mixed-use developments on both sides of Kinnickinnic Avenue, which block the sun in a broad area surrounding the new buildings. Rickets is an ailment caused by insufficient vitamin D.

The success of older developments such as Dwelt, Presidential Lofts, and Look Yonder, in Milwaukee’s popular Bay View neighborhood spurred construction of new developments such as Roost, The Panorama, Bunk, Contour, WattRfront, Milkweed, Cirrus, and Round Corners, all towering six or more stories. These monolithic structures have caused the complete shrouding of Kinnickinnic Avenue between Bay/Becher and Oklahoma. The result is that the single-family and duplex homes near the new developments are now cloaked in shadows from dawn to dusk.

Humans aren’t the only ones being adversely affected by the lack of sun on KK Avenue. Last summer, flowers planted by the Bay View Business Improvement District failed to thrive and many died due to their inability to photosynthesize, prompting the organization to consider artificial plants for 2018.

Especially tragic is the toll it has taken on canine residents in Bay View who languish in sunlight-starved front and back lawns.

Local pet food suppliers report that they are researching vendors who sell vitamin D enriched dog food. They anticipate brisk sales after these products are added to their inventory.

Local health officials are urging Bay View residents who live near Kinnickinnic to eat vitamin D rich food: salmon, herring, cod liver oil, oysters, egg yolks, and wild mushrooms. They are also mandating that vitamin D supplements be supplied to affected residents in the same “Milwaukee Cares” packages that contain free water filters that remove lead from the city’s drinking water.

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