The flooding after Hurricane Sandy (Sandy) resulted in conditions that could potentially lead to an increased risk of lower respiratory symptoms (LRS). This study sought to determine the relationship between Sandy-related exposures and post-Sandy LRS in a population with prior exposure to the World Trade Center disaster. The Sandy-related inhalational exposures examined were: 1) reconstruction exposure; 2) mold or damp environment exposure; and 3) other respiratory irritants exposure. Over one-third of participants reported post-Sandy LRS. Enrollees reporting any of the exposures were twice as likely to have post-Sandy LRS. There was a dose-response relationship between the number of Sandy-related exposures reported and post-Sandy LRS. This study shows that post-hurricane clean-up and reconstruction exposures can increase the risk for LRS. Public health interventions should emphasize the importance of safe remediation practices and recommend use of personal protective equipment.
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