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EPA Region 7 and ATSDR Provide Recommendations to Residents Returning to Flooded Homes in Coffeyville, Kansas

Release Date: 07/03/2007
Contact Information: Beckie Himes, (800) 223-0425, himes.beckie@epa.gov



Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., July 3, 2007) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Agency for Toxics Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recommend that residents returning to flooded homes take the following precautions:

Before entering buildings that have been flooded, be sure:
  • There is no structural damage.
  • Power is turned off.

When re-entering homes:
  • Open windows and doors.
  • If a gas odor is present or the sound of escaping gas is heard, leave the building immediately. Call emergency officials for help.
  • Residents should protect themselves from mold and chemicals by wearing goggles, rubber gloves, rubber boots, and a mask (N-95) that covers the nose and mouth and filters out airborne particles, including mold and dust.
  • Wet materials that can’t be cleaned and dried, such as carpeting, stuffed animals and baby toys, should be thrown away.
  • Residents should not mix household cleaners. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia generates toxic fumes that can make one sick.

Gas generators and pressure washers generate carbon monoxide, which can make people sick, and can kill them. Always use them outside buildings at least 10 feet from open windows and air conditioners.

To protect health:
  • Children, pregnant women, the elderly, ill people, and pets should not enter buildings that have been flooded until they are free of mold and debris.
  • Keep cleaning products locked, out of sight and out of reach of children.
  • In case of poisoning, call The Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 immediately.

For more information about health issues, please contact ATSDR at (913) 551-7892 or your county health department.

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