Navigation Links
American Lung Association of Upper Midwest Offers Tips on Dealing With Floodwaters

CHICAGO, March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest shares the concerns many are feeling about the rising water levels and flooding in several states that we serve. Because flood water damage from this emergency can pose special problems for the thousands of people with lung disease, and may cause lung disease in healthy individuals in the region, we are offering these tips. For more specific help on cleaning up after a flood or water damage, contact the American Lung Association Help Line at 1-800-548-8252.

Direct risks from contact with floodwaters

The greatest health risk for the general public may come from water-borne microorganisms and toxins. However, even after the water recedes, the contaminants, bacteria, viruses and mold left behind pose a risk to those with preexisting lung disease. Exposure to these microorganisms and toxins may increase the risk of developing lung disease.

The physical stress of dealing with the flood may also put a strain on people who are already ill or the elderly, providing an opportunity for respiratory infections and other sicknesses to arise. In addition, the time spent in large group emergency housing may increase the risk of spread of infectious diseases, such as influenza, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.

Damp buildings and furnishings promote the growth of microorganisms, dust mites, cockroaches and mold, which can aggravate asthma and allergies and may cause the development of asthma, wheeze, cough and hypersensitivity pneumonitis in susceptible persons.

Emergency power risks

If electric power is lost during a flood, many people may turn to portable gasoline- or diesel-powered generators, gas stoves, charcoal stoves, grills, portable camping stoves and other devices to cook indoors. All of these produce a deadly odorless and colorless gas, carbon monoxide. Exposure to carbon monoxide reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen and can lead to death. To keep yourself and your family safe, remember the following advice:

  • Never operate gasoline-powered or diesel-powered engines indoors, including garages, sheds and outbuilding.
  • Do not use ovens and gas ranges to heat your home.
  • Do not burn charcoal or propane inside a home, cabin, recreational vehicle or camper.

After the flood: safe cleanup tips

After the flood water is gone and local officials determine it is safe for homeowners to return, the process of cleaning up should begin soon afterwards. Mold can begin growing within 48 hours of the flood, so start by removing or cleaning any materials affected by the flood.

Wet materials such as sheetrock, carpeting particleboard and plywood that have been exposed to floodwaters or basement flooding need to be removed from the home. Bag the materials to be tossed out inside the area that flooded, rather than drag them through the rooms that remained dry, to reduce the risk of spreading contaminants throughout the home. Provide continuous and controlled ventilation in work area, with the area of contamination kept at a negative pressure in relationship to the rest of the home. In other words, air should flow from clean to dirty areas, not the other way around.

Air cleaning devices can help remove some indoor air pollution, but won't solve the problems alone. Cleaning up the water, the contaminants, and the damaged furnishings and material are essential steps and nothing can substitute for them. Avoid using air cleaning devices that emit ozone. Ozone has not been found to clean indoor air, including mold problems. Ozone can harm lung health, especially for children, the elderly, and people with asthma and chronic lung diseases.

Sources of additional information:

American Lung Association Lung Help Line:

American Lung Association Flood Cleanup Fact Sheet

American Lung Association of Upper Midwest Health House Mold Tip Sheet

SOURCE American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Many Older Americans Have Active Sex Lives
2. Despite grumbling, most Americans say they are happy at work
3. Record Number of Americans Lack Health Insurance
4. Longaberger Expands Horizon of Hope Campaign to Build Support for American Cancer Societys Breast Cancer Initiatives
5. AUDIO from Medialink and Pfizer: Number of Uninsured Americans Grows to 47 Million
6. New Survey Shows Americans are Still Concerned About Food Safety, Yet Still Not Smart About What They Like to Eat
7. Novo Nordisk Appoints New Leader of North American Business
8. Amid Improving Life Expectancy Rates, Risk of Premature Death is Still Significant for Americans, New Study Shows
9. Primary biliary cirrhosis more severe in African-American and Hispanic patients
10. AOA President Calls on Congress to Reauthorize SCHIP and Take Action to Ensure Health Care Coverage for All Americans
11. American Chemical Societys Weekly Presspac -- Sept. 5, 2007
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... Doctors who missed a case of mesothelioma ... signs of mesothelioma and push for a diagnosis, especially in people exposed to asbestos. ... here to read it now. , Researchers at Gifu Prefectural Tajimi Hospital ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Safe storage for contraceptive devices may ... one from Lakewood, New Jersey and the other from Bradley Beach, New Jersey, there ... save the expense of having to replace NuvaRings more often than necessary. As such, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the conversation at the recent 2015 American Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved ... can help protect a patient’s overall health. The talk stressed the link between periodontal ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... to be a safe and convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, ... safe and effective way to monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ANGELES, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating ... of 30 (see Table 1-1 ). More than 3.7 billion people under the ... virus type 1 (HSV-1), according to WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... potential to use SyMRI to find optimal contrast weighting of ... tumor metastases, and has signed a research agreement with SyntheticMR ... the hospital. Using SyMRI, it is possible to generate multiple ... settings after the patient has left, thus making it possible ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ... Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" ... --> --> This new ... Japanese therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... addition of the "2016 Future Horizons ... of Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country ... report to their offering. --> ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: