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American Lung Association of Upper Midwest Offers Tips on Dealing With Floodwaters
Date:3/25/2009

arbon 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.

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SOURCE American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest
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