Our thoughts remain with the Americans faced with horrendous damage to their homes and the huge cleanup job they have ahead of them in Oklahoma in the coming weeks.
We went over to the Environmental Protection Agency site to get some information about the environmental challenges that come with disaster recovery and found a lot of great information. Here are some highlights:
- Tornadoes bring wind, but they come with rain. Standing water and wet building materials are a breeding ground for mold, microorganisms, bacteria and viruses.
- Children are more vulnerable to the cleaning products used to decontaminate structures and materials.
- The local water treatment plant is still offline and people have been warned not to drink tap water as yet. When sewage is a component of tap water, infectious disease is a real threat.
- Natural disasters can expose dangerous materials that were previously safe like asbestos and lead. Care must be taken when repairing or demolishing damaged buildings if asbestos or lead paint is present. If there is any chance that asbestos or lead have been exposed in a disaster, call a professional to remove them safely from the site.
If you have been a victim of a natural disaster, you have already lost a lot, but natural disasters can expose dangerous materials that would otherwise have remained safe, like asbestos or lead paint. Don’t take any chances with these substances during your cleanup process. Contact a professional cleaning or demolition company to remove these materials safely. Your situation is precarious enough without adding the danger of asbestos related disease or lead poisoning!
Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager and Blogger for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek. Her parents are in New Jersey, still with no electricity as of publication of this article. We welcome your comments and questions! For more news and tips or talk to our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!