The turmoil caused by Hurricane Sandy will bring negative effects for a much longer time than you may have expected. As recovery and cleanup continues tenfold, Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd had a lot to say on the matter. In fact, she stated the importance of health protection and how a cleanup worker can stay safe by wearing gloves, masks, boots, protective eyewear, and respirators. This goes for community volunteers, homeowners, business owners, contractors, and more involved in the recovery process. She has mentioned specifically, “Along with the physical hazards that can occur during reconstruction, people need to be aware that exposure to mold or asbestos are health risks.”
How real is the threat, however? Mold is common in homes and businesses that have been damaged by Hurricane Sandy. There are precautions to be taken, though. A quick sweep to look for mold is to examine the walls, ceilings and floors for signs of water damage. You can also walk into a room and determine if there is a musty, earthy smell, which signifies mold in the area. If you are not careful and you are working around mold, you could receive nasal and throat irritation, coughing and wheezing, eye irritation, or even skin irritation. If you have mold allergies, the reaction could be that much more severe and you will find that you could get very severe infections in your lungs. The best prevention is wearing gloves and protective eyewear as well as receiving a tetanus booster shot.
Asbestos, of course, is another issue in the work areas left by Hurricane Sandy. Asbestos is very common in buildings so, when removing walls or parts of homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy, it is helpful to keep in mind that they may contain asbestos. Exposure will usually occur when materials are damaged and fibers are released in the air. If a home is suspected to contain asbestos, the best step you can take is to contact an inspector under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
More on Mold Exposure
It is very difficult to predict how somebody’s health could be compromised by mold exposure. However, depending on who has been exposed, mold exposure could cause very ill effects from the most minor to the most severe. A simple rule is used in mold determinations: If the concentration level of mold in a working area is higher than the concentration outdoors, the possibility of serious health problems is present. There are some types of people who may be more at risk of illness from mold exposure than others. These include people will allergies, people with conditions that weaken the immune system, people with lung disease, the elderly, and young children.
If you have been exposed to mold, you may obtain an illness. Some of the most common illnesses include worsening of allergies, respiratory problems, fever, nasal congestion, burning eyes, coughing, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, and more. If you believe that you have suffered health consequences due to mold exposure, call us today. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi we care about your health and your case. We can help you in your time of need.