Tips & Tricks/08.15.22

Beware the Air Quality Risks After Floods

Air quality after a storm is a significant health hazard for flood response teams - and for residents of the area.

As contaminated waters begin to recede and dry out, mud and silt settles on roads and the interiors and exteriors of buildings. After this mud and silt dries, vehicles and workers entering affected areas stir up this contaminated residue, making it airborne and
respirable, which can cause lingering respiratory symptoms—including
cough, runny nose, lung infections and sinus problems.

Equip your team with personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects from ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact. This includes eye protection, appropriate respirators and may even require disposable coveralls with hood and booties.

HEPA air scrubbers should be used throughout buildings in recently flooded areas to minimize the impact on indoor air quality.

Isolate flood-affected rooms with negative containment wherever possible, using a ductable, DOP compliant air scrubber like the HEPA 700.

Check your own state and county health department websites for more information and bookmark them for future reference. They are valuable resources to post-flood air quality hazards specific to your area.

Also see our previous post on flood water dangers before entering affected areas.

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