Asthma Sufferers urged by the Asthma Society of Ireland to take precautions when dealing with damages caused by storms.
Flood Clean-up Tips for Asthma Sufferers
Ireland is still reeling and trying to recover after the wreckage caused by storms as many towns and areas have been besieged by flooding with many families evacuated from their homes.
However, there is also another huge concern for people affected by the storm and that is the development of mould as a result of dampness caused by flooding. For asthma sufferers this is an added threat to their health.
Standing water and wet debris quickly breed mould, which releases tiny seeds called spores into the air that can trigger asthma symptoms in some people. They are found in any damp place - from piles of autumn leaves and woody areas to bathrooms, kitchens and even piles of damp clothes and also from damp floors, walls and home furnishings.
The Asthma Society urges all people with asthma and whose houses were flooded to be extra careful and follow these few useful tips when dealing with the damage:
- Don’t venture inside a flooded home or you risk serious breathing problems. Have others check the damage
- If the flood forced you to evacuate the house and you didn’t get a chance to take your medications with you please see your doctor right away for replacement medication.
- If the damage caused by flood is considerable, don’t clean it yourself but have your home professionally cleaned
- Mould can cause or aggravate respiratory problems. Dry wet items or discard them within 24 to 48 hours to stop the mould from growing
- If some of the things in your home can’t be cleaned within 48 hours, it is best to discard them. Try not to be too sentimental!
- Protect yourself! Wear rubber gloves when cleaning mould from your house
- Make sure you are using cleaners that are asthma – friendly when cleaning your house, as some disinfectants can irritate your lungs.
- Lung problems quite often develop after a natural disaster. Monitor the health of your family and pay attention to any warning signs like coughing, wheezing or chest tightness
Please contact your GP if your asthma symptoms worsen. You can also call the Asthma Society of Ireland Adviceline Team on 1850 44 54 64 for free information about managing your disease and developing Asthma Action Plan.