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FLOOD CLEANUP AIR HAZARD FACT SHEET NOW Available From U.S. EPA

Release Date: 1/12/1995
Contact Information: Dave Schmidt, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1578

  (San Francisco)--  To assist residents of flooded areas as
they move back into their homes, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is now distributing a fact sheet on
how to prevent lingering indoor air pollution hazards by properly
cleaning up and drying out flooded homes.  Copies of the 2-page
fact sheet, entitled "Flood Cleanup:  Avoiding Indoor Air Quality
Problems," can be ordered free of charge by calling U.S. EPA's
regional Public Information Center, at (415) 744-1500, between
8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. weekdays.


     While floods are not usually considered a direct cause of
air pollution, water-soaked walls, floors, and ducts inside
buildings can become breeding grounds for airborne disease-
causing microorganisms such as molds and dust mites.  These are a
major cause of allergic reactions and asthma.


     The fact sheet also points out the danger of potentially
fatal carbon monoxide poisoning from indoor use of gasoline-
powered generators, camp stoves, lanterns, and charcoal grills.
Residents of homes temporarily without electric power are
cautioned against using such combustion devices indoors.


     The removal of asbestos-containing building materials and
lead-based paints, and the improper use of toxic cleaners and
disinfectants, can also pose air pollution hazards for residents
cleaning and renovating flooded homes.  


     A complete guide to flood cleanup and post-cleanup
renovation for homeowners is available in the Red Cross/Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) booklet, Repairing Your
Flooded Home.  This booklet, which is also available in braille
and on audiocasette, can be ordered free of charge from FEMA by
calling 1-800-480-2520.  Additional information on indoor air
pollution can be obtained from U.S. EPA's national Indoor Air
Quality Information Clearinghouse, at 1-800-438-4318.


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