&EPA
Flood Cleanup
  and the Air
   in Your Home
       k


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                    EPA402-K-06-006
Flood  Cleanup and the
     Air  in Your  Home
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
   Office of Air and Radiation
  Indoor Environments Division
  1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
       Mailcode: 6609J
    Washington, DC 20460
      www.epa.gov/iaq
    This booklet tells you how to clean
  up after a flood and how to prevent
  indoor air problems.

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What can happen to the air
 ~
in your home after a flood?

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  Flood water can make the air in your home
unhealthy. This is because when things get wet for
more than 2 days they usually get moldy. There may
also be germs and bugs in your home after a flood.
                                                   Glean and dry your house and
                                                            everything in it.


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  Mold may be more
likely to make some
 people with asthma,
 allergies, or other
breathing problems sick.


  Talk to your doctor or another
medical professional if you have
questions about cleaning or working
in a home that has been flooded.


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       If there is a large amount of mold, you may want to
     hire professional help to clean up the mold.
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                                                                     Glean and  dry
                                                            7
  Glean up mold and germs from the flood water. Fix
any leaking pipes and other water problems and then
dry things, or the mold will grow again.


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     When cleaning
       Wear an N-95
       respirator.
       Wear goggles.
       Wear gloves so
       that you don't
       touch mold with
       your bare hands.
       Wear long pants,
       a long-sleeved
       shirt, and boots
       or work shoes.
10

   Ghoose goggles without vent holes, so the mold
doesn't get in your eyes.
                                                n

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                  N-95 respirator
          N-95 Respirator
N-95 Respirator
        Wear a respirator, an "N-95 respirator," mask over
     your mouth and nose, so that you do not breathe in a
     lot of mold. A respirator that protects against mold is
     called an N-95 respirator.
        A dust mask
     or handkerchief
     will not protect
     you because
     mold can pass
     through it.
                         Handerchief
                         or Bandana
12

                                       Hardware stores usually sell N-95
                                    respirators. Only use a respirator that says
                                    N-95 on the package.
                                                                                  13

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        Throw away
      anything that was wet
      with flood water and
      can't be cleaned.
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       ~
15

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      Glean and dry hard surfaces such as showers, tubs,
    and kitchen countertops. If something is moldy, and
    can't be cleaned and dried, throw it away. Use a
    detergent or use a cleaner that kills germs.
16
          ~
   Do not mix cleaning
products together or add
bleach to other chemicals.
                                      17

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        Sometimes the
     power goes out after a
     flood. So, some people
     use machines called
     portable generators
     for electricity during
     flood cleanup.
                                                                      The exhaust, or
                                                                   fumes, from a
                                                                   portable generator
                                                                   could kill you in
                                                                   minutes if you breathe
                                                                   it in! Use portable
                                                                   generators OUTSIDE
                                                                   and far away from
                                                                   buildings.
                                                                                                 i  i
                                                                                                                .
                        Portable Generator
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             ~
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        Do not use portable generators inside your house
      or garage. Do not put portable generators on
      balconies or near doors, vents, or windows. Do not
      use portable generators near where you or your
      children are sleeping.
      Do not use a portable generator:
          near a window.
                                     in your home.
20

Do not use a portable generator:
                                                                        between buildings that
                                                                        are close together.
                                                                           on a balcony.
                                                                                                        in a garage.
                                                       21

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     For more information contact the
       >   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
     To get/ree brochures or talk to a person about indoor
     air and floods, call EPA's free hotline at
       *   1-800-438-4318
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To get information from EPA on the Internet, go to
 > www.epa.gov/iaq/flood
    for this booklet and more indoor air information
 > www.epa.gov/naturalevents/flooding.html
    for flood information
 > www.epa.gov/hurricanes
    for hurricane information
                                                     23


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                                                                                     Notes
     To get more information from the Centers for Disease
     Control and Prevention  (CDC) on the Internet, go to
       .   www.bt.cdc.gov/floods
           for flood information
          www.bt.cdc.gov/hurricanes
           for hurricane information
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