Charlotte, NC, September 21, 2017
Last month, a fire at an assisted living center for seniors in South Carolina caused the temporary evacuation of over 30 residents. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the facility did experience damage due to the fire, water suppression efforts and smoke residues.
While some apartment units were reportedly heavily damaged, residents from others units were allowed to return home the following day. Returning residents need to be aware of potential indoor environmental issues they may now encounter, especially since they are seniors and some may have respiratory issues or weakened immune systems.
These potential issues include exposure to smoke residues which are made up of a number of combustion by-products that may include ash, soot, char and other materials. When smoke infiltrates a building it can leave behind odors and residues which can cause respiratory issues for building occupants and corrosion, etching and discoloration of surfaces within the property.
“Water used to put out a fire can also create an ideal opportunity for indoor mold growth and subsequent indoor air quality issues,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Moisture trapped between walls, under floors and in attics and crawl spaces can quickly support mold that can spread throughout a facility. Exposure to elevated levels of mold can act as a respiratory irritant, allergen and can even trigger an asthma attack in some people with the condition. One common type of mold found in water damaged buildings is known as Aspergillus. Several species of Aspergillus can cause opportunistic infections in people with a suppressed or weakened immune system. In addition, fire damage in many buildings could even result in lead and asbestos exposure concerns that could become a serious health issue during any demolition and repair activities if they are not properly addressed.”
To protect people from exposure hazards following a building fire, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers a wide range of indoor environmental testing services. They also provide sampling supplies, field instrumentation, and even easy-to-use test kits to help identify smoke damage, mold, lead, asbestos, and other contaminants and potential hazards. They have even sponsored an educational video about smoke damage that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/jUSODjn2N5w.
To learn more about testing a property for smoke and water damage, mold, asbestos, lead or other indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental issues, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com. For access to indoor environmental quality test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella
, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com
for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.