Two important RIA documents for those assisting flooded areas

1. RIA Flooding Clean-Up Advisory for Restoration Professionals

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria are providing restoration contractors with the unique opportunity to assist individuals with wind damage and wide ranging flooding in multiple states and territories. Experience from previous storms should not be forgotten as lessons learned after Katrina and Sandy came at a high price and offer invaluable information for restoration professionals responding to flooding across the country.

Read here important reminders of what contractors should know relating to cleanup after the catastrophic hurricanes the last few weeks. 

2. RIA’s Hurricane Cleanup Guidelines for Volunteers

In past disasters, volunteers returning from working with the rebuilding efforts have brought more than just the feeling of a job well done with them. Too many who went to help developed health problems that included “mold cold”, infections, antibiotic resistant injuries, meningitis, multi-system reactions such as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, (CIRS) and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Restoration Industry Association (RIA), the international association of professional restoration and disaster recovery companies, applauds the volunteers and wants to see them return to their homes with a sense of accomplishment rather than health issues.

Read here how hurricane cleanup volunteers can protect themselves from the physical and emotional hazards.

Can Mold Reside in the Human Body?

Occasionally we receive questions such as whether mold can reside inside the human body. The following is a very abbreviated answer to that question.  

Generally, unless there is an actual infection, it is not the mold spores or fungal fragments inside a person's body which cause all the problems. It is now pretty well understood a fair percentage of the population (5-25% depending on which research you look at) have a genetic predisposition to becoming mold "sensitized". In those cases, mold exposures trigger changes in the immune system which lead to many of the reported symptoms with which you're so familiar: fatigue, neurological problems, digestive disorders, cancer susceptibility, etc. It is more than just allergy; it is the body's own immune system working against the person. Worse yet, even after the exposure to the mold has been stopped, the immune system does not necessarily reset itself, like it does for individuals that do not have a genetic susceptibility.

What this means is that healing for such individuals often comes in three large steps:
  1. Removal from exposure -- including fungal remediation and whole house cleaning
  2. Detox of the mycotoxins and other mold contaminants from the body
  3. Medical treatments to reestablish a healthy immune system.

If the person has been properly diagnosed and treated, the detox usually takes from one to two months after the elimination of exposure. The rebuilding of a healthy immune system can take anywhere from six months to two years depending on the type of medical practices employed.

30th Anniversary Throwback Thursday

As promised on our 30th Anniversary, here is our first blast from the past!   Kids these days are calling these posts Throwback Thursdays ...