Phoenix, AZ, September 9th, 2014
On Monday, residents across the Metro Phoenix area awoke to historic rain amounts and widespread flooding. The heavy rains were the result of moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Norbert in the Pacific. By 8 o’clock in the morning, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport had already recorded the wettest day on record.
Other parts of the metropolitan area received over 5 inches of rain in a part of the country that has an average annual rainfall of just 6 to 8 inches. Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer has declared a State of Emergency after the storm caused power outages and widespread flooding that closed highways, schools and caused extensive damage to homes and businesses.
Area residents have begun to cleanup and attempt to dry out flooded properties. People are being warned that standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and mold. Many of these contaminants can become airborne during cleanup and rebuilding efforts. If inhaled, they could cause disease or trigger asthma and allergic reactions in some people.
“The drying process can take time and the growth of microorganisms will continue as long as there is moisture or the humidity is high,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In general, materials that are wet and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried within 24-48 hours may need to be discarded as they can remain a source of microbial growth. If the building is not dried out properly, a musty odor, signifying growth of microorganisms can remain long after the flood. During cleanup, there are a number of additional concerns people need to be aware of. These include exposure to lead dust and asbestos in older buildings.”
EMSL has a laboratory located in Phoenix that is open and serving businesses and residents impacted by the floodwaters. It can be reached at (602) 276-4344. EMSL has also sponsored an online video about flood cleanup and indoor air quality issues that can be seen at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q1tnHFkPF0.
To learn more about indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services or other health and safety issues, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.