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Texas Tech toxicologists warn of toxic chemicals in water from Northeastern flooding

September 12th, 2011

esearchers say that once damage from floodwater recedes, there remain concerns about black mold and other toxic chemicals left behind.

From Green Right Now Reports

After studying how pollutants travel in the wake of the flooding in New Orleans that followed after Hurricane Katrina, Texas Tech University toxicologists are warning people to stay out of floodwaters stemming from recent heavy Northeastern rains.

The researchers say that once damage from the floodwater recedes, then comes concerns about black mold and other toxic chemicals left behind.

“We think floodwaters represent a significant threat for water damage and serious mold problems, but also for transfer and deposition of environmental chemicals and various toxic substances,” Ron Kendall, director of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University, said in a statement. “Everyone’s garage and service stations and chemical plants are being flooded. So, pesticides, degreasers and cleaning agents can potentially float out into the environment. Those chemicals know no boundaries. Once they’re in the water, they go just about anywhere.”

The scientists suggests these methods for staying safe in flood conditions:

  • Stay out of the floodwaters at all costs, unless wearing protective boots or waders to avoid skin exposure.
  • If you must navigate floodwaters and can do so safely, do so in a boat.

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