Microbial Toxins May be Present after a Flood or Sewage Backup

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EMSL Analytical offers environmental testing services to identify bacterial toxins associated with flooding and sanitary sewer overflows (SSO).

Cinnaminson, NJ, July 10th, 2012 -- When people discover that flooding or a sanitary sewer overflow has damaged their home of business the first thing people often think about is having the property cleaned as quickly as possible.� These types of flooding events can be devastating to families and businesses.

The mess left behind is not only unsightly, but can harbor a host of microbial pathogens and even microbial toxins.� One such toxin that needs to be considered is endotoxins.

Endotoxins are a type of bacterial toxin that is located in the cell wall component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria.�� Endotoxins are lipopolysacchride (LPS) complexes.� They are heat stable and unlike exotoxins, which are secreted, endotoxins are not secreted and are associated with the cell wall.� They can be released when the bacterial cells are disrupted or upon the destruction of the bacterial cell.

Exposure to these toxins is a real potential concern following a flooding or sanitary sewer overflow.� Bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Helicobacter, often associated with these flooding events, are all Gram-negative types of bacteria.�

One company that has been at the forefront in helping to identify microbial toxins is EMSL Analytical, Inc.� “People can be affected by endotoxins with severe reactions including fever, decreased blood pressure, inflammation, coagulation and endotoxemia,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc.� “Building inhabitants and remediation contractors may be exposed to these harmful toxins after a flooding event, especially when raw sewage is involved.� People may be directly exposed to endotoxins by touching contaminated materials or by breathing these toxins if they have become airborne.� Environmental sampling can identify the presence of these, and other, potentially harmful microbial toxins.

EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about endotoxins that can be seen at:


To learn more about testing for microbial contaminants and toxins or other environmental issues, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.� The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.

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