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After the flooding recedes, health risks remain

September 27, 2011
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WILKES-BARRE, PA — Once the flood waters have receded, flood victims have to come to terms with a new threat to their well-being in the form of mold, according to The Times Leader.

Even in cases where water is removed quickly and homeowners call in mold remediation experts right away, it might not be enough, the article stated.

"We''re finding now that we''ve gutted the inside of the house, we''re starting to find mold starting to grow on the plaster and things behind the wall," said homeowner Terrie Kosakowski.

According to the article, molds are microscopic fungi that produce spores that can be airborne, waterborne or insect-borne, which can begin forming within 24 hours of flooding, and can cause illness if not eliminated.

In those with pre-existing lung ailments, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma, mold exposure can lead to a higher risk of developing an infection or asthma-like symptoms, the article noted.

Symptoms that may not appear immediately can develop with prolonged exposure if mold is not properly eliminated and, in rare cases, exposure can lead to more serious conditions such as hypersensitivity pnemonitis, which causes inflammation and later scarring of the lungs, the article added.

Click here to read the complete article.

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