DHHR warns residents of possible mold exposure during flood clean up

Published: Jun. 30, 2016 at 2:53 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is encouraging people to be aware of the effects of exposure to mold during the flood clean up process.

Signs of indoor mold growth include staining on surfaces, a musty odor, dark spots on or around vents, water stains and the peeling or curling or vinyl floors and wallpaper.

Dr Rahul Gupta, the State Health Officer, says, "When entering a home that has been flooded, be aware that mold may be present and can pose a health risk for you and your family."

Common reactions to mold are having a cough, congestion, runny nose, burning eyes, headaches, sneezing and a sore throat.

Children, pregnant women, older people and people with a weakened immune system may be more sensitive to mold than others.

Gupta also says, “If you plan to be inside the building for a while or you plan to clean up mold, you should take appropriate preventive measures to protect your health while in the building."

Residents should be aware that due to the contaminated flood waters, professional help may be needed to rid the home of mold. Professional help is also needed if the home's heating/venting/air conditioning system has been flooded, to remove any debris or mold growing inside of it.