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23 May 2016

Flooding and Home Air Quality

Although water is essential to our lives, it can be devastating when it arrives in large quantities.  Many homeowners have experienced this as the victims of flooding.  When floodwater flows into the house, it normally brings bugs, debris, and micro-organisms with it.

A lesser-known problem accompanying flooding, however, is the damage it does to the air quality in a home.  When items become wet for over 48 hours, they tend to become moldy.  Mold spores are not limited to the areas upon which they rest.  They float throughout the air and are easily inhaled.

Additionally, floodwater is usually rampant with micro-organisms which may present a health hazard.  These organisms are likely to penetrate into porous materials and may later be released into air or other water.  High humidity and ongoing moisture provide an ideal environment for these organisms to grow.  As time goes on, long-term humidity may also foster the growth of dust mites, which are a major cause of asthma and allergic reactions.

Drying out the flooded house is not a quick process.  It can take several weeks.  Materials such as carpet cannot be adequately dried out and cleaned for future use.  These will need to be discarded.  Doors and windows should be opened.  Cabinet and closet doors should also be opened.  Cabinet drawers should be opened as well.  Otherwise, they will likely swell and be difficult to open later.  Dehumidifiers are very helpful in lowering the level of moisture.  If the air conditioner was under water, it should be cleaned before being run.  Otherwise, it will likely blow contaminants into the house.

Appliances which are affected by floodwaters should be inspected by a professional before being used again.

Homeowners who live in a flood-prone area should also store hazardous household materials on higher shelves, in an effort to keep them dry in the event of a flood.  If these products mix with the floodwater, additional health hazards may result.  Such products include:

-household cleaners -motor oil -pesticides -fertilizer.

If you are dealing with mold that resulted from a flood, we recommend that you consult a professional.  Mold Terminator, Inc. is proud to serve as a local provider of mold remediation services.  For more information, e-mail info@moldterminatorinc.com or call (901) 877-8855.


  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  www.epa.gov. 19 May 2016
  2. National Safety Council.  www.nsc.org.  19 May 2016
  3. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  www.pca.state.mn.us  19 May 2016
07 Mar 2016

Mold That Produced A Cure

In September of 1928, Dr. Alexander Fleming returned to St. Mary’s Hospital in London. He had been vacationing in Scotland, and was likely frustrated to find a very messy lab bench awaiting him.

Dr. Fleming noticed that a mold called Penicillium notatum had contaminated his Petri dishes. As he examined this under a microscope, he was surprised to see that this mold prevented the growth of the more common mold called Staphylococcus aureus. Over the next few weeks, he allowed the mold to grow further, and he was able to confirm these findings. He determined that perhaps this might be used to combat infections in humans.

Regarding the experience, he later stated: “When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did.”

In 1938, Dr. Howard Florey, the Director of the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University, came across Fleming’s paper on the topic. He and his colleagues decided to unravel the science behind Fleming’s discovery. During the summer of 1940, they tested penicillin on mice, and eventually concluded that they had enough promising information to test it on humans. It took 2000 liters of mold culture fluid to obtain enough pure penicillin to treat one human sepsis case.

The first test case was an Oxford police constable named Albert Alexander. He had nicked his face while working in his rose garden. The area had become very infected and then spread to his eyes and scalp. After five days of injections, he began to recover. However, they could not produce enough penicillin to continue treatments, and he ultimately died.

In 1941, the British scientists began working with American scientists in Peoria, IL, to develop ways to produce the product on a more massive scale. During the first five months of 1942, 400 million units of pure penicillin were produced. It was used heavily during WWII with a very high success rate.

Mold Terminator, Inc. is proud to salute those who worked so hard and tirelessly to develop an unwanted item into a cure for thousands.

For more information of the services of Mold Terminator, Inc., call (901) 877-8855 or e-mail info@moldterminatorinc.com.

Source: PBS. www.pbs.org. 3 March 2016