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Crews in Fargo Prepare Sandbags in Preparation for Possible Flooding

EMSL Analytical offers testing services to protect people and help identify contaminants in flooded properties.


Cinnaminson, NJ, April 10, 2013

Crews in Fargo, North Dakota, have reportedly begun filling up to one million sandbags in preparation for possible flooding. Some experts have predicted that the Red River may soon reach 20 feet above flood stage.

If flooding does occur, it’s important that any structures that suffer water damage be dried out as soon as it is safe to do so. Failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks for future building occupants.

Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks, and even cause infections in people with weakened immune systems. 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), excessive moisture creates indoor air quality concerns for multiple reasons:

  • First, microorganisms brought into the structure during flooding may present a health hazard. These organisms can penetrate deep into soaked, porous materials and later be released into air or water. Coming in contact with air or water that contains these organisms can make you sick.
  • Second, high humidity and moist materials provide ideal environments for the excessive growth of microorganisms that are already present in the home.
  • Third, long-term increases in humidity in the home can also foster the growth of dust mites and other microbial concerns. Dust mites are a major cause of allergic reactions and asthma.

“Properties that suffer flooding, whether due to manmade occurrences or caused by mother nature, can quickly cause a host of health concerns,” reported Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice-President of Microbiology & Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “It’s important that people tasked with drying out and rebuilding damaged properties understand the potential indoor air quality issues they may face to not only protect their health, but also the health of people who will live or work in these buildings.”

EMSL has sponsored an educational video about avoiding indoor air quality problems after a flood. It can be seen at:

To learn more about testing for microbial or chemical contaminants after a flood, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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