What are your experiences with any of many types of toxic molds . Whether or not if you have been
in tn the summer flood of 2006. I do believe that
breathing mold spores can have very serious
consequences. please reply, jp.
I did volunteer work in the aftermath of the Hurricane Ivan flooding in Pittsburgh a few years ago. I got terribly ill. I had bronchitis for two months that didn't respond to antibiotics that later turned into pleurisy lasting for many, many months.
You don't have to worry just about breathing the mold. In addition to the mold, the dust has all sorts of bacteria and viruses in it too. You must protect your lungs by wearing a mask. But make sure it's a heavy duty mask for blocking small particles, a regular surgical mask will not do. Be forwarned that if you have asthma or emphaseima that it will be hard to breath throught the mask. It will feel like you're taxing your system just to get a breath of fresh air however, people with breathing disorders need the protection of the mask the most because their lives will be most at risk.
I researched the risks back then. For some reason they officially claim there are no increases of respiratory diseases after flooding but the people in our area most certainly had increases in respiratory disease. I think that they're trying to hide something. As for the mold, it can be a risk to getting it settled into your lungs. There's a mess of a problem if that happens. I recall that being my biggest fear since I have asthma and I'm alergic to mold. Fortunately, I just ended up with a mother of a mix of bacteria and viral infections.
Check with your local health department for tetnus shots. They usually provide them right after flooding to anyone working with cleaning or debris.
If you live in an area where you're not getting dust kicked up from neighbors cleaning and cars driving by, and you're only risk is your own personal mold and flood debri, just remember that the mold is at most risk when the spores are being kicked up in the air. If it's just sitting there, the risk is less. You want to clean it wet--so it's less likely to fly into the air. You want to kill it first with bleach before you start removing. If you breath it in dead, you're not at as serious risk. There's also some super potent chemicals for removing mold after flooding. Your municipalities might have it available for free (ours did). But be careful because it has a list of health warnings of it's own--causing cancer and all that. If you need more detailed informaiton about killing and removing mold, let me know and I'll go down to the church and get the information we used after Ivan.
The masks you need are N95. Here's a link with an example.
You can go higher with the masks--like for instance to an N100 (used for SARS)---but not lower to a number lower than N95.
In my search for the mask type, I've discovered that protecting your eyes from mold spores is equally important--goggles without ventilation holes. (I can't remember if we were wearing goggles or not because it was a few years ago.)
Here's a EPA link about mold clean up and health protection:
Check you e-mail. I just responded with info. Let me know if you need anything else. I'm more than willing to help out.