Thu, Jun 14, 2012 - Page 2 News List

EPA issues post-flood clean-up guidelines

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Soldiers clean up debris and rubble in Taoyuan County yesterday after flooding caused by torrential rains in the area.

Photo: CNA

After several days of heavy rain throughout the nation and floods in many areas, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said there was an urgent need to differentiate between types of garbage during clean-up operations, while the Centers for Disease Control said living environments should be cleaned to prevent the spread of disease.

The EPA’s Department of Waste Management said that during post-flood clean-ups, waste that can easily rot or emit bad odors should be sorted out and separated from bulky items.

Bulky waste such as discarded furniture or large appliances should be left at designated temporary disposal areas by the roadside for the environmental protection agencies’ crews to pick up, the department said.

The department also encouraged people to use commercially available bleach — at concentration levels of between 3 percent and 6 percent — to sanitize indoor areas affected by flooding, and ask for assistance from local cleaning squads in cleaning up outdoor areas.

The slop and mud left by floodwaters could cause leptospirosis and melioidosis (also known as Whitmore’s disease), so people should wear raincoats, face masks, waterproof long boots and gloves when cleaning up areas that were flooded, the centers said, adding that they should also wash their hands with soap after removing the protective gear.

In addition, elderly people and people who are physically weaker, have compromised immune systems, chronic diseases or skin trauma should try to avoid contact with post-flood debris and mud, the centers said, adding that if symptoms of illness occur, they should report coming into contact with slop or mud when seeking medical treatment.

The EPA and the Centers for Disease Control also urged the public to remove standing water from containers to diminish the breeding places for mosquitoes that can transmit dengue fever.

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