New Orleans, LA – It has only been a few days since we have heard about Katrina and already there have been well under an estimated 20,000 deaths once reported. The city of New Orleans is almost completely submerged underwater and several hundred thousands of others have not been accounted for. Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida have not really been able to truly assess all the casualties from the aftermath; therefore 1,000 is most likely a conservative estimate.
This has been bad journalism at its worst when they report such atrocities about hurricanes. The actual casualties will be from the death and disease issues related to mold caused from water damage, not the actual water. This is why the poor people who survived hurricane Katrina, however, are facing health threats we never imagined would happen in the United States. Here a look at some of the factors that’s making the situation so dangerous right now.
Health Threats to Flood Victims
Contaminated water is flooding the streets and residents must wade in this combination of raw sewage and irritating chemicals that have leaked into it. “We need to prepare the country for what’s coming,” the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, said in a television interview. “We are going to uncover people who died, maybe hiding in houses, got caught by the flood,” he said. “It is going to be about as ugly of a scene as I think you can imagine.”
No one knows how many people were actually killed by Hurricane Katrina and how many more died waiting to be rescued. But the bodies are everywhere: hidden in attics, floating in the ruined city, crumpled in wheelchairs, abandoned on highways. Dead bodies are in plain sight all over the cities.
Injured people with open sores are exposed to every infection the water holds. Sometimes the choice is dying from dehydration or drinking the contaminated and risking salmonella, hepatitis A or even typhoid.
Another threat is mainly psychological right now and is a serious one for a badly traumatized group of people. Some of the people who are still in New Orleans are elderly or already suffering from serious medical problems. They are without their lifesaving medication and although some have died from conditions such as diabetic coma due to lack of insulin, seizures, and psychotic episodes, it is nothing compared to what will be affecting any of the residents soon.
But the Worst Has Yet to Happen
The elements of an epidemic are definitely in place, but there is far worst that has yet to be seen. As in the case of past hurricanes, Mold-Help has been inundated with thousands of desperate complaints from hurricane victims who have lost everything, including their mold infested homes, furnishings, cars, and family heirlooms as they dejectedly walk away to find a healthier alternative, the streets or a possibly a homeless shelter. When they ask for assistance with agencies such as FEMA and the Red Cross as they bravely walk away from the horrendous health hazards of mold, they always complain to deaf ears as these agencies pretend not to acknowledge pathogenic mold as the national health crisis that has already been determined as such. Although these agencies appear to be conducting heroic efforts in their aid campaigns, they are failing to rectify the real problems.
Unfortunately, much of the uneducated public believes that these agencies are doing a thorough job. And the government is asking for financial assistance for things they are already supposed to be funded for. The real financial assistance is much more needed well after this story leaves the limelight of the media, but sadly, it will never be responsibly taken care of and the very high casualties will never be documented. This is for a reason; the failure to handle an emergency in a proper way.
Barely Scratching the Surface
The so-called emergency response agencies know the real problems, but just a stop-gap fix is all that they can provide. It is not that these agencies are ignorant or uneducated, but more that they know they cannot afford to help with the real catastrophe, so instead of saying this, it is a standard training measure for these officials to claim that fungal growth is not an emergency. This is the same claim resonated throughout all federally funded organizations as some even claim to put forth good efforts in helping the victims in this aftermath, but they all fail erroneously. With an estimated 1,840,000 households affected by the trail of Katrina, the real problem has yet to come, say most health and environmental experts. Although many of these organizations appear to look like all so-called worthwhile humanitarian groups, they are really only scratching the surface of this catastrophe, and they know it. Preying on the hopes that an ignorant public, these agencies can only hope to look like heroes in the midst of a biological nightmare that hasn’t shown its true colors yet.
The real problem lies ahead as the buildings, structures, belongings, autos, and furnishings will soon be affected by the greatest health crisis of the new millennium; disease causing mold, spreading quickly to their owners. The molds we are talking about are directly linked to permanent neurological, pathological, immunological, and psychological damage, including death, even the healthiest individuals. If these water-damaged buildings are not incinerated to high degree temperatures, which no common fire can produce (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit), they will come back to plague anyone and everything they come in contact with. Some experts have already suggested that the entire affected areas be torched.
Pharmadocs may say otherwise, but the truth speaks in numbers, and it is historical due to past hurricane experiences. The problem is never being handled and the government is just scratching the surface in order to make this look like an honest effort, which it is not. Before donating money to the wrong causes, look the problem that is right on the horizon.
The government contract that has recently been awarded for clean-up in New Orleans is none other than Kellogg Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton. Based upon their track-record and allegations of conflict of interest and racketeering, it is extremely doubtful that the insidious mold problem, which the EPA has already claimed is their worst impending problem, may never be effectively handled due to the extra effort and cost that it takes to avoid this disease prevalent problem from occurring and re-occurring.
For example, any water damaged structure that has been on mold infested ground, which is at least 99% of the present dwellings, must have proper measures taken to alleviate and prevent any further mold problems. All new construction (which, if this alledgedly precarious agency has yet to set an ethical presance) must have all soil removed and original soil for proper new or replacement construction must be dug down to at least two (2) meters, to avoid further contamination of any new structures. This is only one precautionary measure that must be followed to create new, non-pathagenic, environmentally safe housing. There are at least 48 other rules that must be followed in order to avoid the obvious, new, moldy construction that will not be cross-contaminated from the previous mold tragedy, which the EPA and FEMA are trying to down-play. Based upon historical past experiences, the truth will surface regardless as Halliburton probably will fail doing an ethical job in re-building the city. But, these problems could be so easily avoided if these contractors who belong to “the good ole’ boy’s club” generally fail to do as it reduces profits.
“It’s going to be incredible,” said Doug Rice, a mold expert and director of Colorado State University’s Environmental Quality Laboratory. “We’re going to have quite the lab experiment going on there.” Given the conditions in New Orleans now, mold likely has started to grow already.
A lack of humidity control is critical, Rice said. Without air conditioning, the steamy conditions are right for mold growth, from the houses in the neighborhoods to the high-up floors of hotels. “If they don’t have electricity for two months, or three months, that’s going to be a problem,” he said.
Rice has studied areas damaged by hurricanes for over a decade. The closest comparison Rice can think of is Hurricane Floyd in 1999, which left parts of North Carolina under water for weeks. The mold growth after that storm, Rice said, was “incredible.”
New Orleans Will Be Much Worse
Healthy people without allergies won’t notice some mold in their house until they become poisoned by inhaling the spores and mycotoxins. Allergic people will react badly to small
amounts. Everyone will be affected by high levels of mold, regardless of their health status.
Given the right conditions, mold turns toxic, Rice said. Health effects then turn serious – respiratory distress, memory loss, lost use of senses.
And, Rice said, most insurers no longer cover mold under
homeowners policies. This is because the insurance industry knows how damaging fungal exposure can be to one’s health.
Proven Facts about Mold and Flood/Hurricane Victims
- Among any surfaces, water infiltration can induce mold to proliferate within 24 to 48 hours.
- Although most fungi is harmless, many modern household molds cause mycotoxins, which have been proven to cause permanent neurological, psychological, pathological, and immunological damage.
- Many indoor molds are known causative carcinogens, and combined with ideal breeding conditions, can lead to cancer and several types of autoimmune disease in record time.
- Exposure to toxigenic molds can cause death in extreme cases, even among the healthiest individuals, despite false claims that say only certain individuals with impaired immune systems are at risk.
- The United States government has failed to designate any programs to assist the public with this epidemic and they ignore every plea for help due to the real problem at hand; high costs and an easy cover-up as many feign ignorance. Additionally, they have hired outside unscrupulous consultants to provide cock-eyed evidence to dissuade the public from the true evidence in hopes that the ignorance of people United States will ignore the truth. However, according to Dr. Aristo Vojdani, over 40 million have been affected already, and now fungal exposure is a national health crisis with epidemic proportions.
- Any ground that has been supporting a structure containing these molds is also toxic, and digging down at least two meters to rebuild can alleviate many of these potential problems.
- Common symptoms associated with mycotoxin-causing fungal exposure are similar to other forms of poisoning, which include: acid reflux, brain fog, asthma-type symptoms, rashes, easy-bruising, dizziness, short-term memory, and balance problems.
- Trying to salvage precious mementos, antiques, artwork and family heirlooms can be one of the worst things that these struggling victims do. Although it can quite cathartic for many flood or hurricane victims to try and save old memories or significant pieces, the chance of fungal growth is more than 99%. Without proper containment, ozone, proven antimicrobials and UV light, it is almost impossible to ‘clean’ items effectively and with the addition of someone who has been compromised with fungal exposure, the chances of cross-contamination are very high. There has even been a record number of otherwise healthy plaintiff attorneys lately who have died from fungal exposure just through papers brought into.
- Most hurricane victims are very understandably angered by the fact that an organization who would actually do real ‘good faith efforts’ towards these citizens would finish their rescue efforts and burn the disease ridden areas or assist in proactive relief efforts, rather than leave the unspeakable problem of remediating or abandoning and paying for homes that are unhealthy to occupy. But once again, the burden of the problem is left in the hands of innocent consumers so big corporations such as the mortgage industry can have it both ways, profit, profit, profit. Meanwhile, many sick families are burdened with the ordeal of living with sick, moldy houses, and deciding between living homeless and healthy or dying in their ‘dream homes’.
- This attitude of hurricane victims of crying such phrases such as, How can this [injustice] happen in America? According to the hundreds of thousands of mold victims who lose their homes on a daily basis throughout the United States, frantically ask this question as they lose their homes and health to mold everyday, but no one listens to them either. This is America, a country with leadership who appears to care nothing about the average person. There is no more freedom here than any third world country, as this is what will be happening here soon, no rights for citizens as major corporations take our rights away every day. You will see some major examples, and repercussions of this within 18 months, to be perfectly accurate, according to some new legislation that will be altering thousands of people and their inalienable rights firsthand. It is no coincidence that Halliburton will be controlling the rebuilding of these new cities, who will now become oil refinery sites due to mass foreclosures and loss of properties.
The public should be outraged by the real story; at least anyone who cares about humanity or even for those who worry this may happen to them, because it will, eventually, unless you do something about it.
Rather than the public being concerned about rescue efforts and interim care, it is important to understand that the government is already staffed and funded to handle this relief effort. Providing more funding will not ensure that the victims will obtain faster relief, although efforts have been slow and pragmatic. So far, the Red Cross has not even reportedly been supporting victims of the hurricane. This organization has already had numerous conflicts and ethical investigations due to their alleged misappropriation of funds and past scandals.
Emergency donations should be witheld for the real problem; bulldozing contaminated regions, finding alternative housing, and providing ethical and realistic education on the hazards of fungal exposure and high risk of disease associated with many pathagenic indoor molds.
It will be very interesting to see if this national mold cover-up sponsored by the insurance, pharmaceutical, and building industry will be able to continue. Most likely, the powers that be will most likely attribute all of the illness that will occur from fungal exposure to some type of toxic chemicals. There is no way they can hide the facts forever, and this may be the point of truth since the amount of people who will become sick from mycotoxicosis will reach epidemic levels if the re-construct the affected cities without taking important precautions.
The future looks very dismal for the hurricane victims, but this insight into the real problem is a true fact of life, or death, whichever way you want to look at it.