After Ike, Waiting for a Breath of Relief

"Know first what you're doing before you start cleaning up," Lichtveld said. "In the process of stripping and getting rid of carpet, those who are doing it are exposed, and so it's very important to have personal protective equipment.

"The important thing is to aerate the building as best as possible and as quickly as possible."

Lichtveld said that a chlorine solution could effectively kill mold, but for a bigger job, homeowners should consult a professional.

Also, cleaning should only be done on surfaces that can't be discarded.

"It's much better to get rid of the material affected with it than to get rid of it," said Lichtveld.

Mold In Your Home

While people may want to return to their homes immediately, she called for a measured approach.

Lichtveld stressed that three precautions needed to be taken as people return to the areas affected by Hurricane Ike.

She said people with asthma should not be exposed to the mold, people who were cleaning mold needed proper protection, such as masks and gloves, and people with asthma, especially children, need to stay on their medications.

"There is no need to panic," Lichtveld said. "There is an absolute need, though, for very clear and concise communication of the risk."

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