If you experience flooding related to Hurricane Irene, the Fairfax County Health Department recommends taking precautions to avoid indoor air quality problems associated with mold. Moisture that enters buildings from leaks or flooding accelerates mold growth. Molds can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions and continue to damage materials long after the storm. Failure to control moisture and mold can present short and long-term health risks.
To protect against health risks associated with mold:
- Remove standing water from your home or office.
- Remove wet materials.
- If mold growth has already occurred, carefully remove or clean the moldy material.
- Consider using personal protective equipment when cleaning or removing mold including gloves, goggles and an N-95 particle respirator (found at most local hardware stores). Check with a health care provider before wearing a respirator. Do not use a respirator if you have heart disease or chronic lung disease such as asthma or emphysema.
- Individuals with known mold allergies or asthma should not clean or remove moldy materials.
Do not mix cleaners and disinfectants, as hazardous gases may produce hazardous chemical reactions. Read and follow label instructions carefully. Open windows and doors to provide plenty of fresh air.
For more information, visit: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/alert/emerg/emermold.htm