Charleston, SC, November 12th, 2015
Last weekend, heavy rains inundated parts of Florida with up to 13 inches of rain causing extensive flooding that damaged numerous homes and businesses. Residents are now tasked with cleaning up the mess and making repairs to their soaked properties.
During this stressful time, the impact on the current and future indoor air quality of a home or business may appear to be the least of one’s problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to quickly reduce moisture and humidity in a water-damaged property can present serious health risks for building occupants. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria and mold. Many of these contaminants can become airborne and trigger allergic reactions and asthma or even cause disease in some circumstances.
“Even when property damage is due to rainwater coming through a leaking roof, the growth of mold on wet materials in a building can cause allergic reactions and other respiratory conditions in sensitive individuals,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “High indoor humidity levels can also support the growth of dust mites which are a major cause of allergic reactions and asthma.”
Property managers, owners and tenants of older buildings with water damage are also cautioned to be on the lookout for asbestos-containing materials and lead-based paints. These hazardous substances could become aerosolized during clean-up, demolition and repair activities if proper procedures are not implemented.
To help identify mold and other microbial contaminants, in addition to lead-based paints and asbestos, EMSL Analytical has laboratories in Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale along with a service center in Florida. EMSL also offers consumer-friendly indoor environmental test kits that can be obtained at www.EMSLTestKits.com.
To learn more about water damage, mold, indoor air quality or other environmental, health and safety issues, please visit www.EMSL.com or email info@EMSL.com. To contact EMSL about testing services, please call 888-958-8170.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.