Essay on Flooding: Mold Remediation

2132 Words 9 Pages
Flooding: More than Just Water Damage:
Assessing Methods of Mold Remediation and the Need for Urgent Remediation

Introduction:
In the floods of 2008 of Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, 1,400 homes were destroyed and caused about 750 million dollars in damage (1). When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, over 15 million people were affected and it caused 110 billion dollars in damage, the majority of the cost was directly the result of flood damage (2). Of these homes, approximately 46 percent had mold damage. 17 percent were considered to be heavily contaminated (3). The costs of these floods has been increasing each year as the population and development grows.

Flooding can cost families a great
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Affected Population
FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, collects data and assembles Flood Hazard Maps to determine which areas are most susceptible to flooding, taking into account river flows, storm tides, rainfall analysis and topographical surveys. As far as individuals who are most susceptible to the effects of mold post-flood, individuals with pre-existing lung conditions such as asthma, COPD, active or previous tuberculosis infections should avoid exposure as best as possible (6). Furthermore, individuals who are immunosuppressed are also more susceptible to infections. This includes HIV/AIDS patients, transplant patients and those who are currently taking immunosuppressive medications (e.g. prednisone) (5). Flood associated healthcare cost have also been shown to be higher in those with lower incomes (8).

Health Effects of Mold
Mold can cause an increase in allergy symptoms and asthma events (5). Mold can also make the body a home causing respiratory infections or even systemic infections. After flooding, in a study by Rath et.al., there was a 34 percent increase in hospital admissions and an increase of 14 percent related to fungal infections. Because mold is more closely related to humans and other infectious causes (bacterial and viral), they are harder to treat as fewer options are available to target molds that are not

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