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Int J Environ Health Res. 2014 Apr;24(2):158-75. doi: 10.1080/09603123.2013.800964. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Effects of water-damaged homes after flooding: health status of the residents and the environmental risk factors.

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a Department of Environmental Medicine and Behavioral Science , Kinki University Faculty of Medicine , Osakasayama , Japan.


We evaluated the health status of residents and the environmental risk factors of housing after flooding. Questionnaires were distributed to 595 selected households (one adult resident per household) in six areas in Japan which were severely flooded between 2004 and 2010. A total of 379 responses were obtained. Indoor dampness and visible mold growth significantly increased in homes with greater flood damage. The incidence of respiratory, dermal, ocular, and nasal symptoms one week after flooding was significantly higher in flooded homes compared with non-flooded homes, the incidence of psychological disorders was significantly high for six months after flooding, and the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder was significantly high six months after flooding. Significant risk factors for respiratory and nasal symptoms included proximity to industrial and waste incineration plants. Our results suggest that rapid action should be taken after flooding to ensure adequate public health and environmental hygiene in the water-damaged homes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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