New York 11/26/2012 10:13:41 PM
News / Health & Wellness

Hurricane Sandy’s Microbial Aftermath More Catastrophic than the Floodwaters

Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop infections in their lungs

It’s now been four weeks ago today since Superstorm Sandy slammed into the east coast with widespread flooding within the Mid Atlantic and the Northeast regions.  The enormity of the flooding which affected tens of thousands of homes and businesses has now spawned considerable mold and bacterial growth among other bio pollutants. The flood waters carry with them sewage and other toxins. Flood water can be very toxic and may contain a number of harmful microorganisms such as viruses, mycoplasma, bacteria, protozoa, molds and other detrimental remains of biological and a-biological pollutants. These bio pollutants if not remediated effectively will cause an increase in respiratory distress and health concerns

The key to biological control is moisture control. It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. Some people are sensitive to biological contaminants. For these people, exposure to biological contaminants can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to biological contaminants, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of biological contaminants in occupational settings. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop infections in their lungs.

There are thousands of homeowners and business owners who have faced extreme damage caused by the hurricane and/or tropical storm; and there thousands of others who are also affected on a smaller scale. Their flooding may only bring a few inches of water in the home or building, but any increase in moisture can still be devastating because of the possibility of biological growth and contamination.

Environmental air, bulk, surface, ATP, and liquid samples may be collected from the flooded area for bacterial and mold analysis. Result would be helpful in determining the microbial propagation as well as in decision making for remedial measure, if any.  Do no rely on the word of a remediation contractor nor the insurance carrier that they “feel” that the bio-pollutants were removed properly rather retain an independent environmental consultant that will provide you effective remediation protocols and with professional clearance documentation that the bio-pollutants have been removed effectively.  You will need this documentation when selling your home or building and it will provide the building occupants that the building is environmentally healthy and safe.

For additional information you can contact Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Director, EDLab, an AIHA accredited lab at Pure Air Control Services 1-800-422-7873 ext 303 or visit the web site at

To discuss performing a Building Health Check evaluation or a comprehensive indoor environmental assessment of your building or home call the credentialed professional indoor environmental consultants at Pure Air Control Services-Building Sciences 800-422-7873, ext. 802.

Also available are economical Do It Yourself (DIY) test kits appropriate to collect the samples for screening the microorganisms from the flooded environment.  Building Health Check, LLC has been helping hurricane victims for many years by offering a full line of Do-It-Yourself Indoor Air Quality Test Kits, offering you peace of mind that your home is safe for your return.  For more information on the IAQ Screen Check product line contact Cy Garner at 1-800-422-7873 ext 404.

About Pure Air Control Services:

Alan Wozniak founded Pure Air Control Services, Inc. in 1984 as a small mechanical contracting firm. Today, the firm sets the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis and remediation.

Pure Air Control Services nationally performed IAQ services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; EDLab an AIHA accredited Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; and Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services.

The company’s expanding client roster includes the FAA, Walt Disney World, General Services Administration (GSA); Allstate Insurance; CBRE, Carrier Air Conditioning; NAVFAC, DOT, USACE, US Army, and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air Control Services the reliable industry leader.

For more information on Pure Air Control Services, Inc. please contact Alan Wozniak or Cy Garner at (800) 422-7873 ext 802 or 804 respectively, or visit