Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Household levels of mold following Hurricane Katrina surpass some agricultural environments

26.09.2006
Mold and bacteria levels in New Orleans homes warrant use of strong respiratory protection

In a study assessing flood clean-up procedures in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, a team of scientists led by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, report that household levels of mold and bacterial endotoxins in three single-family homes were so considerable that they equaled or surpassed those in waste- water treatment plants, cotton mills, and agricultural environments. The study is the first comprehensive report documenting levels of mold and bacteria in homes that received sustained flooding.

Following Hurricane Katrina, many New Orleans homes remained flooded for weeks, promoting heavy mold growth. These three New Orleans homes were selected for the study based on their levels of flood water, whether they previously were structurally sound, and if they were located in an area likely to be rebuilt. The study examined the extent to which homes that experienced significant and prolonged exposure to flood waters could be satisfactorily cleaned to enable reconstruction. Homes were inspected for roof leakage, standing water and the extent of mold throughout their interiors, as well as heating ventilation and air conditioning.

"From our data, it is clear that levels of mold were so high that we strongly recommend that those entering, cleaning, and repairing flood-damaged homes wear respirators that are more protective than plain dust masks," said Ginger Chew, ScD, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. "While our assessments of the data are based on a small demonstration project, the results give a clear picture of what is acceptable in flood clean-up procedures."

The project was sponsored by the NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan and Enterprise Community Partners, and was carried out by the Mailman School of Public Health, the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) and several other academic institutions including Tulane School of Public Health, the University of Cincinnati, Harvard School of Public Health, The University of Iowa, and Case Western Reserve University.

"Our goal was to make recommendations for the safe removal of flood-damaged articles, safe re-entry into homes, and safe levels of worker protection," said Jonathan Wilson, deputy director of the National Center for Healthy Housing.

According to researchers, these findings not only will inform those involved in current clean-up activities in New Orleans and other environments, but will benefit those responding to any future disasters that may occur.

Stephanie Berger | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mailman.hs.columbia.edu/
http://www.centerforhealthyhousing.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>