Hurricane Ian Leaves Mold and Other Exposure Hazards for Floridians Cleaning Up the Damage
Residents, and clean-up and repair crews, have descended on hard hit places like Naples, Florida to begin the long process of getting people back into their homes, schools and businesses. As time has passed since the hurricane made landfall, these property owners, volunteers and professionals are encountering a number of exposure risks, including mold and other contaminants caused by Hurricane Ian.
It is important that people take heed of warnings and suggestions from federal, state and local agencies to protect their health from mold and other hazards in damaged properties. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as N95 or better respirators, appropriate gloves, safety goggles and other gear can all be essential to mitigate exposure risks.
Back in 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report examining immunosuppressed residents of Texas that were exposed to mold following Hurricane Harvey damage to the Houston metropolitan area in 2017. Issued in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the report surveyed 103 immunosuppressed residents in the Houston area. Almost half of the participants (50) engaged in cleanup of mold and water-damaged areas. Of these people involved in light and heavy cleanup activities, just over half reported wearing a respirator. The low use of respirators was concerning as the MMWR report stated that immunosuppressed people are at risk for invasive mold infections (primarily respiratory) with mortality rates as high as 50%.
“Having access to environmental testing and the proper personal protective equipment when a natural disaster like Hurricane Ian strikes can be instrumental in mitigating exposure risks to mold and other hazards,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL Analytical, we have multiple laboratories in Florida that offer respirators and other personal protective equipment, along with environmental testing services for mold, bacteria, sewage, chemicals, lead, asbestos and other contaminants frequently associated with damaged properties. We also provide easy-to-use test kits, building inspection tools and monitoring instruments to help protect families and workers.”
To learn more about indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services, personal protective equipment or other supplies, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com . For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories 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-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC 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.
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