Home Forums Flooded & water damaged home risks The health risks of flooded and water damaged homes

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    Jeff Charlton

    Water damage falls into three basic categories ranging from clean water escape from pipe to grey water from bath or black water often seen a s sewage but includes water which travelled over or through ground to enter the home.
    In all cases water will amplify the ever-present bacteria and mould with growth rates doubling every 15 minutes.
    While the contaminated water is a serious risk, the hazard increases as the property dries out.
    The reason for this is the wet substrates holds the contaminates but as the water evaporates through drying, the microorganisms become airborne in dust for inhalation.
    Similarly, although mould and bacteria may grow on surfaces and in cavities and even become airborne, the real hazard develops as the bio contaminates dry out and fragment. The once whole spore fragments through desiccation and becomes particles less than 5 microns. This size of dust is now known to cause the most serious of problems typically affecting the respiratory system and heart, but other risks are now present. The small particle of mould <5 micron now by- passes all human defences and travels to the lower respiratory system and enters the blood stream.
    The World Health Organisation estimate these fragments of mould containing the mycotoxins and inflammagens may be a health hazard some 40 times that of whole spores.

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