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Historic Flooding Causes Widespread Property Damage and IAQ Concerns in Maryland

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services and sampling supplies to identify chemical and microbial hazards following flood damage.

Beltsville, MD – WEBWIRE
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations

Late July brought devastating flooding to Ellicott, Maryland that took the lives of two people and severely damaged a number of buildings. The tragedy occurred after approximately six inches of rain fell in the area in just two hours. 

The flood waters hit the historic downtown business area particularly hard. Basements and the first floors of a number of businesses and homes were filled with flood water. Some area residents have reported it was the worst damage since the region was hit by Tropical Storm Agnes back in 1972.

“With the waters now receded, property owners and tenants are faced with cleaning up the mess and filing insurance claims,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “However, it’s important for people to understand that buildings that have been damaged by flood waters can also pose health concerns for building occupants and workers tasked with making repairs. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, including everything from viruses and bacteria to mold. Flood waters also often contain chemical contaminants.”

Many of these contaminants and pollutants can become airborne and create indoor air quality (IAQ) issues and immediate health concerns, especially during clean up, demolition and repair activities. Another health and safety issue is the likely presence of lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials in the historic homes and commercial buildings within the area. Residential and commercial properties built up until the late 1970s often contain these substances. 

To help identify mold, bacteria, sewage contamination, chemicals, lead-based paints, asbestos and other health and safety concerns following flood damage, EMSL Analytical, Inc. has laboratories located throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including one in Beltsville, Maryland. Sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits and a comprehensive array of testing services are available immediately.

EMSL has also sponsored a video about flood cleanup and indoor air quality (IAQ) issues that can be seen at: 

For more information about water damage, mold, IAQ or other environmental, health and safety issues, please visit, email  or call (800) 220-3675. To learn more about EMSL’s indoor environmental test kits, please visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for 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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