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Historic Flooding in Houston Causes Widespread Property Damage and Health Concerns

Houston, TX – WEBWIRE

Heavy rains have inundated many parts of Texas and Houston is no exception.  This week’s historic rains caused widespread flooding and brought many parts of the city to a stop.  A number of school districts were forced to cancel classes and many highways and major roads in one of the nation’s largest cities were impassable due to floodwaters.

By Tuesday morning, up to 10 inches of rain were reported in some Houston areas with additional precipitation expected.  With the ground already waterlogged, all of this rain has caused extensive damage to people’s homes, schools and businesses.  The destruction has prompted Governor Gregg Abbott to now include a total of 37 counties in his emergency disaster declaration.

Once the floodwaters finally recede, area residents will have the daunting task of cleaning and drying out their properties.  People are being warned that standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms such as endotoxin, viruses, bacteria and mold. Flooding can also introduce chemical pollutants into the home. Many of these contaminants can become airborne during cleanup and rebuilding efforts.  If inhaled, they could cause disease or trigger asthma and allergic reactions in some people.

“It’s vital for Houston residents to begin drying out their properties as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc.  “The process can take time and the growth of microorganisms will continue as long as there is moisture or high humidity levels in the property.  Materials that are wet and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried within 24-48 hours may need to be discarded as they can remain a source of microbial growth. If the building is not dried out properly, a musty odor, signifying growth of microorganisms can remain long after the flood.  During the cleanup process, people also need to be aware of other potential hazards such as lead-based paints and asbestos that can be found in some older properties.”

EMSL has a laboratory located in Houston that is open and serving businesses and residents impacted by the floodwaters.  It offers sampling supplies and testing services to identify indoor contaminants caused by flooding. EMSL’s Houston laboratory can be reached at 1-866-318-3920.  EMSL has also sponsored a video about flood cleanup and indoor air quality issues that can be seen at:

To learn more about indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services or other environmental, health and safety issues, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .


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