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Algae/Mold/Plants

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The Department of Health keeps you informed about exposures that can potentially harm you and your family. Please refer to this section more information.

Blue Green Algae

Blue Green Algae

Blue Green Algae Physician's Reference

 

Mold

The New York State Department of Health and the Chautauqua County Sanitary Code currently do not have regulations dealing with mold presence or remediation.
 Please contact your local housing or building inspector to address complaints as most mold growth inside homes is due to structural deficiencies leading to water infiltration.

About Mold

Almost all homes have some amount of mold or mold spores. Mold is simple; it needs moisture and organic matter to grow and reproduce. Organic matter, such as wood, natural fabrics, food, etc is found in excess in a home, so the best way to control mold growth is to control the moisture in your home. Even small amounts of moisture from condensation or small leaks can provide a fantastic opportunity for mold growth. Preventing water infiltrating into a home can prevent mold growth.

Mold Growth

In tiny amounts mold isn't harmful. However, a tiny amount of mold can quickly increase if the right conditions arise. Mold growth can ruin walls, furniture, fabrics, etc., but more importantly it can make you sick.

Health Risks

People who are allergic or sensitive to mold can experience nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, skin irritation, headache, and fatigue. People with chronic respiratory illnesses can develop mold infections in their lungs. While folks suffering from asthma can experience mold triggered asthma attacks. Even if you are healthy and don't have mold allergies, exposure to large amounts of mold can result in severe reactions including fever and shortness of breath.

Take Action

If you observe mold in your home, immediate remediation efforts should be taken. Small areas of mold can be cleaned with a biocide, such as bleach. Large areas of mold growth can be dangerous and professional cleaning is recommended.

 

Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed

About Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed flowers from mid-June to mid-July. The plant is locally invasive and regrows from cut off rootstock.

Health Risks

  • Clear, watery sap causes reactions to skin and mucous membranes
  • Sap can sensitize skin to sunlight, resembling burns.
  • Potentially fatal reactions have occurred to children playing with hollow stems of plant.
  • Reactions involve mucous membranes, can result in airway occlusion.
  • Burning plants can lead to inhalation of fumes and blister the airways and lungs.

Identification

  • Parsley and carrot family of plants
  • Height: 6-15 feet
  • Leaves: 2-5 feet in span
  • Stem - 2-4 inches, hollow, colorful, being predominately green with areas of deep purple coloration.
  • The stem, leaf and flower stalks are covered abundantly with hair, most notably at the base of the leaf stalks. Its small white flowers are maintained in wide, flat clusters that may approach 2.5 feet across.

Round up (glysphosate) is effective in controlling hogweed. Wash hads thoroughly with soap and water immediately after contact. Seek medical attention after any contact with poisonous plants.