Raleigh, NC, October 12th, 2016
Hurricane Matthew left behind millions of dollars of destruction along the coasts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power to their homes, businesses and schools as powerful winds, heavy rains and widespread flooding inundated the region.
Most properties survived the initial hurricane, but are now left with slight to severe damage. These properties can be rebuilt, but there are often environmental hazards people need to be aware of before, and as they rebuild. These are examples of problems frequently associated with hurricanes:
- Mold can begin to grow in as short as 24 to 48 hours on many types of wet building materials and household belongings. The inhalation of elevated levels of mold can cause respiratory issues and trigger an asthma attack in some people.
- Floods can bring not only rainwater into a property, but also viruses, bacteria and chemical contaminants. Flood waters come in contact with many buildings, so sewage and potential chemical hazards may have infiltrated and soaked the interior of damaged properties.
- Removing debris or rebuilding a property can cause fibers from asbestos-containing materials to become aerosolized. Inhalation hazards associated with asbestos fibers include lung cancer and mesothelioma.
- The disturbance or removal of materials containing lead-based paints may result in elevated concentrations of lead dust in the air that could cause lead poisoning concerns.
“Property owners, managers and tenants faced with damage from a hurricane can be overwhelmed, but they need to remember that in a storm’s wake, there can be real hazards faced by those tasked with cleaning and repairing any damage,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “If not handled properly, these issues may remain and also be a potential threat to any future building occupants. To help identify microbial and chemical contaminants, lead, asbestos and other potential hazards, EMSL offers all of the sampling supplies and test kits needed to identify exposure risks.”
EMSL has sponsored a video about indoor environmental hazards following a hurricane that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/kEpmo3Z-wJA.
To learn more about testing damaged properties or other indoor air quality, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com. For access to EMSL’s test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. 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.