Mold infestations following Hurricane Sandy trigger allergy and asthma attacks in East Coast residents
It's been over a month since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, flooding homes and leaving people without power and electricity, but now, even as the water levels have receded and lights have been turned back on, residents are dealing with a new source of danger: mold.
New York Daily News reports that increased exposure to mold has led to potentially life-threatening asthma and allergy attacks among East Coast residents and cleanup workers in contaminated buildings.
Without the proper equipment – such as dust and respirator masks – people can experience mild to severe allergic reactions to this hazardous fungus. Fox News cautions that any building that has been wet for two days or more is at great risk of a toxic mold infestation.
For people who are allergic to mold, reactions can manifest in different ways, such as coughing, itchy eyes, wheezing, rashes and a runny nose. And for those who have asthma, exposure to the tiny spores that mold produces can trigger an attack.
"I've been coughing like crazy," 57-year-old John Frawley told The Associated Press. "I'm telling you, I can't stay here much longer."
Dr. Clifford Bassett, an adult and pediatric allergy specialist, recommends examining your home thoroughly after flooding, cleaning all counters and surfaces, washing wet cloth items in hot water and wearing gloves, boots, goggles and a respirator mask while cleaning.
If you're worried about mold exposure, there are a variety of products you can use to prevent an infestation, including dehumidifiers, special vacuums or a whole house air purifier. And if you're looking to get rid of existing mold in your house, the Allersearch AllerMold Mold & Mildew Inhibitor / Removal Spray is an effective cleaner.