Katrina Mold Increases Asthma

M1 House Wash helps reduce the presence of mold in the home.On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, many are looking back at the effects of the disaster. One devastation of the hurricane was the mold that spread across New Orleans. Not only did it destroy residences, but it also made children with asthma very sick. As Medical News Today reports in Asthma Symptoms and Attacks in Children Increased by Post-Katrina Mold, ‘experts point to increased sensitivities to environmental asthma triggers as a risk for more severe asthma symptoms and attacks in hundreds of New Orleans children.’

To help with the problem, the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN) announced a pledge of about $2 million to Xavier University of Louisiana's Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education to sustain the Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana (HEAL) problem, which has been assisting families manage their children's asthma.

Included in this help is research, and one of the most telling findings is that almost 80 percent of children with asthma in post-Katrina New Orleans are sensitive to mold. This is 30 percent more than children in seven other cities in the United States. In addition, asthma rates overall in New Orleans are three times higher than the national average. The city also has the highest childhood asthma death rate in Louisiana.

Dr. Floyd Malveaux, Executive Director MCAN, says, ‘We have heard a lot about how Katrina changed the city of New Orleans, but very little about how the city's post-Katrina environment changed health outcomes.’ He adds, ‘There is an undeniable connection between the environment and the health of children with asthma. Effective asthma management must go beyond traditional medical care and include additional interventions to manage the problem, as well as to reduce exposure to the specific environmental triggers known to exacerbate a child's asthma.’

Products like dehumidifiers and mold control cleaners like M1 House Wash and Vital Oxide Mold Remover and Disinfectant help limit exposure to mold. To read more about mold and mildew and how to reduce exposure, see the Mold and Mildew Solution Guide.

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