Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Household Levels Of Mold Following Hurricane Katrina Surpass Some Agricultural Environments

Date:
September 25, 2006
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
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.

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.

The findings will be published in the December issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Household Levels Of Mold Following Hurricane Katrina Surpass Some Agricultural Environments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060923104640.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2006, September 25). Household Levels Of Mold Following Hurricane Katrina Surpass Some Agricultural Environments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060923104640.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Household Levels Of Mold Following Hurricane Katrina Surpass Some Agricultural Environments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060923104640.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins