Protecting Health While Salvaging Mold-Contaminated Items

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The Volusia County Health Department urges residents in flooded areas to follow safety guidelines to protect their health while cleaning up water damaged homes and businesses.

“It is important for our citizens to be mindful of how to deal with mold contaminated items while cleaning up their homes,” said Dr. Thomas R. Coleman, director of the Volusia County Health Department. “Mold contaminated items could possibly cause infections or trigger allergic reactions in some individuals.”

Mold contaminated items should be dried and cleaned properly before returning them back into the living environment.

The Volusia County Health Department recommends the following safety guidelines to salvage mold-contaminated items:

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* Mold will eventually destroy the item it is growing on. Mold should be removed as soon as possible.

* Consider hiring a water damage restoration or mold remediation specialist if you have a number of water damaged items you wish to save or mold contamination in excess of 100 square feet.

* If your salvageable items are wet but you do not see mold, the guidelines in Table 1 are recommended

* If you see mold growing on salvageable items, the guidelines in Table 2 are recommended

* Whenever handling potentially contaminated items, use an N-95 respirator, gloves and goggles. Those with mold-related allergies, asthma or are immune compromised should not handle potentially contaminated items.

* If you develop health symptoms you suspect may be related to a salvaged item in your home, please see your physician immediately and have a non-impacted family member take the item out of the living area.

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