INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- As floodwaters recede across much of Indiana, mold and its threat of negative health consequences are rising.
Care should be taken to clean and dry the areas of the home where moisture tends to accumulate, such as basements and areas that have been subjected to standing water. This advice applies to any residential or business structure. Site-constructed houses are particularly vulnerable if they were subject to flooding.
Dampness in walls, carpets, insulation and wood provides an environment for mold to flourish. These materials generally should be discarded if they become saturated. Mold also can ruin paper and fabric.
Taking steps to eradicate mold when it is first spotted will go a long way toward maintaining a healthy environment following flood disasters.
When a large amount of mold is left to grow, it can trigger allergic reactions, asthma episodes, infections and other respiratory problems. In addition, exposure can cause development of an allergy to mold, resulting in long-term health problems.
Unnecessary exposure should be avoided. Wear rubber gloves, a face mask and protective goggles when tackling the job of cleaning severe instances of mold.
Information about eradicating mold and other health issues spawned from flooding is available online at www.fema.gov.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.