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Puerto Rico Faces Widespread Property Damage and Indoor Environmental Concerns Left by Hurricane Maria

EMSL Analytical provides testing services, sampling supplies and test kits to identify hazards in homes, schools and businesses in the wake of Hurricane Maria.


Properties across Puerto Rico have taken a pounding after first being hit with powerful winds and rain from Hurricane Irma earlier this month which was then followed by a direct hit from Hurricane Maria last week. Hurricane Maria was the most powerful storm to directly hit the islands of Puerto Rico in over 80 years.

The damage from these two hurricanes has been tremendous. All 3.4 million residents were without power, making damage assessments and initiating cleanup and repair activities extremely challenging.

The people of Puerto Rico are faced with property damage across the entire territory due to storm surge, flooding, heavy rains and hurricane force winds that lasted for hours. Fortunately, most of these properties can be repaired and rebuilt. However, many damaged properties now likely contain environmental hazards that people need to be aware of to protect their health.

“Nationwide, victims of Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey have faced a number of common indoor environmental hazards as they cleanup and rebuild their homes and businesses. These hazards have included everything from mold and bacteria to lead, asbestos and other exposure concerns,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Mold is a particularly common issue following a hurricane due to storm surge, flooding or just heavy rains battering a property for hours. All too often once the storm has left, there may not be power. This is the case in many parts of Puerto Rico now, and unless residents have access to a generator they cannot begin to pump out water, turn on dehumidification equipment or use simple mechanical ventilation of any means. Wet and humid indoor conditions will allow for the growth of mold in less than 48 hours.”

To help identify microbial and chemical contaminants, lead, asbestos and other potential hazards associated with hurricane-damaged properties, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers testing services, all of the sampling supplies necessary, easy-to-use test kits, and even a wide range of respirators and other personal protective equipment.

To learn more about indoor environmental quality testing of damaged properties or other indoor air quality, environmental, health and safety services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email . For access to indoor environmental quality test kits, visit  

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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