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Health concerns associated with mold in water-damaged homes after hurricanes Katrina and Rita - New Orleans area, Louisiana, October 2005.
Ratard-R; Brown-CM; Ferdinands-J; Callahan-D; Dunn-KH; Scalia-MR; Moolenaar-RL; Davis-SI; Pinkerton-L; Rao-C; Van Sickle-D; Riggs-MA; Cummings-KJ
MMWR 2006 Jan; 55(2):41-44
After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall on August 29 and September 24, 2005, respectively, large sections of New Orleans (Orleans Parish) and the three surrounding parishes (Jefferson, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard) were flooded for weeks, leading to extensive mold growth in buildings. As residents reoccupied the city, local health-care providers and public health authorities were concerned about the potential for respiratory health effects from exposure to water-damaged homes. On October 6, CDC was invited by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) to assist in documenting the extent of potential exposures. This report summarizes the results of that investigation, which determined that 46% of inspected homes had visible mold growth and that residents and remediation workers did not consistently use appropriate respiratory protection. Public health interventions should emphasize the importance of safe remediation practices and ensure the availability of recommended personal protective equipment.
Emergency-response; Respirators; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Molds; Exposure-assessment; Region-6; Rescue-workers; Personal-protective-equipment; Safety-practices; Microorganisms; Bacteria
Issue of Publication
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
LA; OH; GA
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division