San Leandro, CA, December 10th, 2015
Earlier this month, the Pacific Northwest was hit with a deluge of precipitation, including the wettest day on record in Portland, Oregon. The region experienced several days of heavy rain that caused sewer systems to overflow, flooding, landslides, and even resulted in people having to evacuate some areas.
The rain was so extreme that Amtrak stopped trains, some school districts cancelled classes and the Oregon Zoo closed its doors. Now that streets that had turned into rivers have dried, people have begun the task of inspecting their homes and businesses for water damage due to flooding, leaking roofs and exteriors.
Homes and buildings impacted by floodwaters may now be contaminated with potential chemical and biological hazards. These could include everything from industrial chemicals and fuels to E. coli and Salmonella. Even properties damaged due to leaking roofs and exteriors face possible contamination issues caused by any moisture that has penetrated the building’s exterior. If materials remain wet, this can result in the growth of mold in as short as 48 hours.
Mold growing almost anywhere in a building can cause indoor air quality problems. When inhaled, some types of mold can cause disease in people with a weakened or suppressed immune system, trigger asthma in others and cause allergic reactions in many.
“It’s important that people recognize there could be hazards in these wet properties,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Those living or working in older buildings are also cautioned to be on the lookout for asbestos-containing materials and lead-based paints that could become aerosolized during clean-up, demolition and repair activities.”
To help identify mold along with other microbial contaminants, chemicals, and lead-based paints and asbestos, EMSL Analytical has nearby laboratories in Washington and Northern California that provide sampling supplies and testing services. 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, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675.
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.