Public Health Risks Grow as the Devastating Louisiana Floods Recede
The receding flood waters are typically tainted with sewage and other toxins. Flood water is toxic and may contain a number of harmful microorganisms such as viruses, mycoplasma, bacteria, protozoa, molds and other detrimental remains of biological and a-biological pollutants.
Baton Rouge, LA — The deadly storm system that wreaked havoc on Louisiana, where more than 30,000 had to be rescued, 40,000 homes and business are without power is working its way into the Midwest. The flooding is not only leaving behind a soggy trail of damaged homes, buildings and roads but also a public health nightmare. At least 30 deaths have been reported as a result of the storm that has left thousands homeless and countless businesses closed.
The receding flood waters are typically tainted with sewage and other toxins posing environmental health risks. Flood water is toxic and may contain a number of harmful microorganisms such as viruses, mycoplasma, bacteria, protozoa, molds and other detrimental remains of biological and a-biological pollutants. Many waste water treatment plants have reported wastewater spills due to flooding. Flooding has caused the release of partially treated, disinfected or untreated wastewater from water facilities.
Even when a building structure has recovered from water damage (major flooding, CAT 1 thru CAT 3), public health issues still remain. Though everything may appear OK visually, the interstitial side of the buildings structure may be blooming with microbial and chemical propagules. Discoloration of the walls and other places are a primary indicator that microbial remediation is needed. If the discoloration is in multiple places, it is of even more concern as the interstitial sides could be 100 times greater than what is visibly seen. Usually these circumstances signify there are microbial propagules growing in the house or building as a result of the previous damage, and this could be hazardous to the health of individuals.
Possible environmental constituents to consider in a post flooding environmental assessment may include:
- E. coli
- Total Coli-forms
- Total Fungal
- Total Bacteria
Two key options include evalu-aire a professional DIY kit available at www.indoorairtest.net to sample both the air and surfaces of the building or to hire a professional environmental consulting firm that will evaluate the ambient conditions of the structure, the HVAC system, interstitial wall cavities, the structure of the envelope, etc… to determine the cause of potential damage and provide a specific remedy for effective removal.
Environmental air, bulk, surface, and liquid samples may be collected from the flooded area for bacterial, mold and chemical analysis. The results are helpful in determining the microbial /chemical propagation as well as facilitate remedial action or justify decision making for remedial measures, if any.
In the first phase, an economical Do It Yourself (DIY) method is available to collect the samples for screening the microorganisms from the flooded environment. These samples can be tested by using culture or non-culture based methods. If you have elevated levels, consult with an indoor environmental professional.
President Barak Obama has signed a emergency disaster declaration for federal assistance in Louisiana due to the damage caused by severe weather, tornadoes and flooding. In light of the immense devastation in Texas and Oklahoma there is some good news.
Pure Air Control Services is offering disaster recovery assistance through its federal General Services Administration (GSA) contract (#GS 10-F-0488R) to assist city, county, state and federal governments (including schools) by identifying baseline mold/IAQ conditions and providing specific, definitive remedial recommendations.
Alan Wozniak, President and CEO of Pure Air Control Services said “Normally, our federal contracts are limited to federal agencies. However, since President Obama has declared areas of Texas and Oklahoma a disaster area, Pure Air’s federal contract can be used by other governments, such as state, county, local, municipality and schools, as federal aid is available to such entities.”
The General Services Administration has modified the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) for Pure Air Control Services GS-10F-0488R (SIN 899) to provide a contracting vehicle for state and local governments of federally declared disaster areas with the procurement of emergency indoor environmental services that would include but not limited to: building assessments, mold remediation, restoration services, dehumidification, and HVAC system cleaning, etc….
You can contact the Building Scientists at Pure Air Control Services for a professional evaluation of your building or home at 1-800-422-7873 ext 802 or for the DIY evalu-aire www.IndoorAirTest.com contact Jo Ann Phifer at 1-800-422-7873 ext 404.
Pure Air Control Services, Inc. was founded in 1984 as a small mechanical contracting firm today sets the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis and remediation.
Pure Air Control Services is a national provider of the following IAQ services: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check (USP 797 monitoring compliance); Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) an CDC ELITE micro laboratory, USP 797 Lab analysis; DIY IAQ Green Check test kits, Environmental Project Management; HVAC System Cleaning and Mold Remediation Services among other indoor environmental services.
Pure Air Control Services nationally performed IAQ services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; an AIHA accredited Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; and Duct Cleaning & Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services. The company’s expanding client roster includes the General Services Administration (GSA); Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Allstate Insurance; Carrier Air Conditioning; Naval Air Warfare Center, Orlando; and Naval Air Station – King’s Bay, Georgia, and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air a reliable industry leader.
For more information, visit the company’s web www.pureaircontrols.com