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Mold Exposure and Personal Protective Equipment Use Following Hurricane Damage

EMSL Analytical provides testing services, sampling supplies, test kits and a wide range of personal protective equipment to identify mold while safeguarding workers and building occupants.

Houston, TX – WEBWIRE

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new report examining immunosuppressed residents of Texas that were exposed to mold following Hurricane Harvey damage to the Houston metropolitan area in 2017.

Issued in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the report surveyed 103 immunosuppressed residents in the Houston area. Almost half of the participants (50) engaged in cleanup of mold and water-damaged areas. Of these people involved in light and heavy cleanup activities, just over half reported wearing a respirator. This low use of respirators is concerning to health professionals and advocates as the MMWR report states, “Immunosuppressed people are at risk for invasive mold infections (primarily respiratory) with mortality rates as high as 50%.”

“Following a natural disaster, it can be a real challenge accessing the proper respirators and other personal protective equipment, not to mention adhering to recommendations about avoiding mold-contaminated areas when a person’s own home is involved,” said Jody Thomason, Vice President of Products/Corporate Purchasing for EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The MMWR report shows how few of the people most vulnerable (immunosuppressed) to devastating fungal infections actually used this potentially life-saving equipment. Educating people, especially those most at risk, and having access to the proper personal protective equipment before a natural disaster strikes can go a long way towards minimizing exposure risks to mold and other hazards in the future"

EMSL Analytical, Inc. has facilities across North America that offer mold testing, sampling supplies and easy-to-use test kits. They also carry a wide range of respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, protective suits and hard hats. EMSL also provides inspection tools, such as moisture meters, infrared cameras and borescopes to help locate water damage that could allow for mold growth.

To learn more about mold or other indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services, inspection tools or PPE, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email . For access to IEQ test kits, visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 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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