Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Safety Concerns as Storm Passes

Dr. Richard Besser on the effects of floodwaters in people's homes.
3:00 | 10/30/12

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Transcript for Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Safety Concerns as Storm Passes
All this water in the streets and also seeping into homes, the basements, the first floors and so many of you as we said have been asking us, is it contaminated and abc's chief medical editor dr. Richard besser went out to get a sample to test it and he's here now with the results so what happened, rich? I wanted to show you why you have to be so incredibly careful. Whether the water is in your house or it's on the street. So I headed down to lower manhattan where there's still a lot of area that is under water and I collected a sample. You know, I wore gloves and i wore boots to make sure that none of this water would come in contact with my skin because it can be very, very damaging. I took it to the ambient group lab which is a laboratory which specializes in water testing. Now, the water looked totally clear but it just about knocked me over from the smell. It was loaded with petroleum, with gasoline. Very strong and ha can be very dangerous if you come in contact with it. We then put it through testing. Now, if it has bacteria sewage in it it glows purple just like that and our waters being tested we'll have that result tomorrow. But, you know, this is water that is very dangerous, it's contaminated with bacteria and with all kinds of chemicals. You have been saying to me all day long, if it gets on anything in your house, first of all, wear gloves, but even a clothes package, a can, do not use it. This is a question people have, any food, any canned goods, anything that came in contact with floodwater it's best to get rid of it. Any other things, pots, plates have to be scrubbed with water, soaked in bleach before you use those. This can be very dangerous. You can prevent illness if you follow the strict rules. Soak them in bleach first, you're saying. Dilute bleach in water. Okay, to make you not sick and you'll be back with your final results what you found in the water, thank you, rich.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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