Baton Route, LA, August 23
According to Louisiana’s Governor, John Bel Edwards, at least 40,000 homes and businesses were damaged by the historic floods that hit the state earlier this month. The damage and destruction were the result of two feet of rain that fell in just a two-day period. Twenty of the state’s parishes have been included in a federal disaster declaration and approximately 60,000 people have already signed up for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Many of the damaged properties have been soaked for days and most wet building materials, furnishing and belongings that are not properly dried within 24 to 48 hours will begin to support the growth of mold. Property owners and tenants should also be on the lookout for mold in out-of-sight places, such as basements, crawl spaces, wall cavities and attics.
Mold can easily become airborne during cleanup and rebuilding efforts. If inhaled, some types can cause disease in people with a weakened or suppressed immune system, trigger asthma in those who are asthmatic, or cause allergic reactions. Floodwaters also often contain sewage and chemical pollutants that may now be present in many buildings.
“As people begin to cleanup and rebuild their homes, schools and businesses, it’s important that they understand what hazards they may now face,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Compounding these exposure risks is the likely presence of asbestos-containing materials and lead-based paints in structures built up until the late 1970s.”
EMSL Analytical, Inc. can help residents identify microbial/chemical contaminants and other hazardous materials that may be present in damaged buildings. They have laboratories across North America, including a facility in Baton Rouge, to assist flood victims. Sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits and a comprehensive array of testing services are available. EMSL has also sponsored a video about flood cleanup and indoor air quality (IAQ) issues that can be seen at:
For more information about water damage, mold, bacteria, asbestos, lead, IAQ or other environmental, health and safety issues, please visit
www.EMSL.com or email
info@EMSL.com. To learn more about EMSL’s indoor environmental test kits, visit
www.EMSLTestKits.com. To contact the Baton Rouge laboratory call (225) 755-1920.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.EMSL Analytical, Inc. 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.