KUSA - The flooding across large areas of Colorado can bring along a variety of health problems. So anyone near the flood waters needs to take appropriate precautions.
RECENT COLORADO FLOODING STORIES
Residents should only go into flood waters if it's absolutely necessary and should spend the minimal amount of time in those waters. Children should also not be allowed to play in or near those same waters.
These flood waters are typically contaminated with a variety of substances, and as time goes on, this contamination increases. Breaking this down into separate categories, flood water carries with it hazards that are in the air, on the water surface and even below.
In the air, you need to keep protected from airborne viruses, evaporated oil products that can be inhaled and mold spores.
Floating on the top of the water, especially if flood water is near structures or vehicles, can be gasoline or other fuels and even crude oil. Other dissolvable chemicals can include pesticides and herbicides, lead and heavy metals and even cancer-causing substances like benzene.
Since flood water is typically very murky, you won't be able to see hazards below the surface. These include sharp objects you could walk into or scrap against. There could also be sudden drop-offs and holes that can cause injury or even lead to accidental drowning.
There may be hidden fallen electrical lines that may still carry a charge.
Walking or standing in flood water can cause a variety of illnesses. Potential skin problems can include infections of healing wounds. Staphylococcus and other types of bacteria can enter any broken skin and cause an infection that can become worse without treatment. The skin can also develop a dermatitis type rash, especially if it's also been sunburned or exposed to irritating chemicals.
Being in any water for a long period of time could lead to what's known as trench foot or immersion foot - an inflammation of the skin that stays wet for too long of a time period.
As time goes on, the flood waters will continue to become more contaminated and germ infested. These germs can enter the body in a variety of ways causing the illnesses discussed above.
Your best bet is to avoid flood waters whenever possible.
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