Proper Chemical Use When Cleansing From A Flood

By Bryan Mercer

Proper Chemical Use When Cleansing From A Flood

September 17, 2011 Updated Sep 17, 2011 at 4:11 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The Broome County Health Department issues a statement about the proper use of certain chemicals when cleaning from a flood.

If you have items contaminated by flood waters or sewage spills, proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures should be followed to prevent illness.

The safe and responsible use of products such as Lime for small sewage spills and bleach for disinfecting, can aid in flood recovery if used correctly and safely.

The Broome County Health Department would like to inform residents that prior to using these products; they have the proper personal protective equipment (goggles, respirator, masks, gloves) and a thorough knowledge of how and where to use the products in a safe manner.

Minor sewage spills outdoors may be disinfected with regular Lime.

Follow the Lime container’s label instructions for use and necessary personal protective equipment needed.

You must use a mask/respirator and gloves when applying.

Liberally sprinkle the Lime onto the sewage spill so the spill is dusted mostly white on the surface.

If the residue is thicker in some places use a rake to mix the Lime and the residue.

After a day, rake up the thicker residue and double bag it for disposal with the other flood debris.

Use a hose to lightly wet the Lime and residue if dry.

Let the area dry in the sun a day before allowing access.

Keep children and pets away from area of application.

If bleach is to be used as a disinfectant in the basement or for disinfecting household items (one cup bleach to five gallons water), it should be used in a well ventilated area, preferably working with a respirator, gloves and eye protection.

DO NOT MIX BLEACH AND AMMONIA as toxic vapors will form. Check all labels for warnings.

More information on cleaning after a flood can be found at gobroomecounty.com/eh.

If residents have questions about the use of bleach or Lime they can contact the Broome County Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health M-F 8:00am- 5:00pm at 607-778-2887. For Poison Control, contact 1-800-222-1222.