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Mississippi Flood Raises Toxic Mold Threat

By Robin Enos on May 13, 2011 6:47 AM

Mississippi flood waters take the treat from beating your feet on the Mississippi mud. The toxic mold might give you more than a treat, too.

And when Mississippi tributaries begin to back up, breaching their low levies, the damage will spread. Snakes, molds, water-borne bacteria, and septic tank effluent will spread to form a river of cess as much as 80 miles wide, reports USA Today.

The Army Corps of Engineers, after grim calculations, has begun to relieve pressure on the lower reaches of the Mississippi, by diverting river flow upstream. So the Corps has dynamited a levee near Cairo, Ill., opened a spillway outside of New Orleans and is considering opening another dam near Baton Rouge that hasn't been opened since 1973--all to relieve pressure from the swollen river, reports USA Today.

And above New Orleans, the Corps has announced it has opened hundreds of spillways to divert Mississippi water into Lake Ponchartrain, reports CNN.

The water will come. Eventually the water will recede. Even the snakes will leave.

But the molds will still keep growing. In the drywall, in the walls, in the flooring, in the roof.

The Centers for Disease Control reassures us that all mold is not necessarily toxic, and gives these pointers:

Mold is a greater hazard for persons with conditions such as impaired host defenses or mold allergies.

To prevent exposure that could result in adverse health effects from disturbed mold, persons should

  1. avoid areas where mold contamination is obvious;
  2. use environmental controls;
  3. use personal protective equipment; and
  4. keep hands, skin, and clothing clean and free from mold-contaminated dust.

And a final grim thought. Recent flood waters resulting in the growth of toxic molds are not the responsibility of a prior landowner or builder. So you may have nobody to sue for this year's Mississippi floods.

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