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Mold/Bacteria Continues to Grow after Flooding

The receding floodwater carries a number of toxic waste, plant and animal remains, sewage water along with contaminants including bacteria and mold.

Minot, ND 7/14/2011 3:03:07 AM

The history of flooding dates back to the start of human civilization and is still listed as one of the most damaging natural calamities. The aftermath of flooding takes its toll in terms of life and property. Recently around 11, 000 people were evacuated from Minot, North Dakota as a result of a record-breaking 13 feet water level above the flood stage in and around the Souris riverbank, ND. According to an estimate, over 4000 homes/residences were affected in the area, and most of them are not insured against the flooding.

The current flooding of North Dakota is devastating, however, the water has started receding and residents are coming back to their homes or businesses. Potential environmental health hazards are looming in these areas. The receding floodwater carries a number of toxic waste, plant and animal remains, sewage water along with contaminants including bacteria and mold. These toxic substances are hazardous in nature and affect the flora and fauna of the area adversely. As a result, the ecological system is impaired with anomalies. Yes, post flooding health hazards exist and they need to be paid attention to.

EDLab suggest a two-fold approach for preventing and minimizing the impact of microbial hazards in flood-affected area.

  1. Environmental Diagnostics
In the first stage, it is essential to identify the contaminants, their sources and other factors responsible for the dispersal. Air, bulk, surface, liquids and other environmental samples should be collected from the concerned/damaged environment and sent to AIHA accredited laboratory for analysis. EDLab, an AIHA accredited microbiology laboratory (EMLAP # 102795), provides analysis for bacteria and mold at a very affordable price.

Also, a variety of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) products are available from Building Health Check, LLC at to test the indoor environment from a health and hygiene point of view. Once the source is identified, the nature and extent of the damage needs to be determined.
  1. Remedial Action
A remedial action plan needs to put in place with pre and post clearance environmental testing to monitor the efficacy of cleanout. For cleaning bacteria, mold and other environmental contaminants green products are encouraged, which are non-toxic, biodegradable and eco-friendly. Effective remediation for bacteria, mold and other environmental contaminants in flood affected area need proper equipment, trained human resource as well as other supplies for environmental testing for successful remediation.

Dr. Rajiv Sahay, CIAQP, FIAS
Laboratory Director
EDLab at Pure Air Control Services


The Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) (established in 1992) at Pure Air Control Services (PACS) is an AIHA accredited environmental lab offering complete and comprehensive indoor environmental microbiology laboratory services. They include: microbiology, aerobiology, chemistry, allergen assays and microscopy designed to meet all your indoor air needs. EDLab supports IAQ investigations by assisting with strategic sampling plan development and supplying media collection equipment while performing a wide range of environmental analyses.

For more information on EDLab at Pure Air Services, Inc. please contact Dr. Rajiv Sahay, at (800) 422-7873 x 301, or visit


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    Clearwater, Florida 33760
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  • 1 (800) 422-7873