Toronto Flooding Aftermath Is A Serious Health Threat

mold on bathroom ceilingPicture from Health Canada website

May 5, 2017 isn’t the first time Toronto has experienced flood-like rain. In the summer of 2013, heavy rains had caused creeks to flood and sewage to flow through the streets. In the aftermath, homes were found contaminated with E. Coli and toxic mold. E. Coli was found in 90-95% of the homes inspected by Frank Haverkate of SafeAir Environmental Inc., according to CBC News (Aug 2, 2013).

When sewers overflow, water damage is only the first tier of potential damage. Lingering moisture will lead to a variety of molds. However, ‘Black Toxic Mold’, often referring to the ‘stachybotrys chartarum’ variety is among the most dangerous.

What You Should Know About Black Toxic Mold

Black toxic mold appears in very wet conditions, such as flooding and consistent moisture from extended rainfalls or damp areas with low air circulation. It most often appears as greenish black in colour. It especially thrives on cellulose-rich materials, such as are often used in construction; gypsum, drywall, fibreboard, paper, and even dust and lint.

Almost type of common household mold can produce allergy or flu-like symptoms such as

  • Worsening allergies
  • Persistent coughing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nose, throat and eye irritation

Exposure to toxic or toxigenic molds, such as Black Toxic Mold, can cause:

  • Pulmonary (lung) hemorrhaging
  • Mental and neurological symptoms
  • Memory loss
  • Respiratory symptom
  • Circulatory symptoms
  • Vision and eye problem
  • Skin problems
  • Immune system problems
  • Reproductive system problems
  • Tiredness and discomfort
  • Other illnesses and health effects

Mold can grow within 24-48 hours after dampness occurs. With the amount of rain that has hit Toronto
yesterday and today many Toronto area homes will be vulnerable.

To protect your home and family take precautions!

  1. Get rid of the moisture in your home (you can rent dryers)
  2. Keep the area well-aired and keep the air circulating
  3. Wash or get rid of couches, carpets and furniture that has thick fabric which could be hiding moisture and incubating mold spores
  4. Get your air quality tested
  5. If you find mold, call a mold removal specialist

Detailed Information On How to Identify and Clean Up Mold At Health Canada Website

July 2016 Flooding

July 2013 Flooding

May 2017 Flooding

Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

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