MAUI COUNTY—Significant hazards exist near all burned structures and areas and objects exposed to smoke. Keep children away--children should not help with clean-up efforts and should not be near, or play near, areas with ash or debris.
In the areas where structures were burned, individuals will encounter dangerous conditions and may be exposed to toxic materials that include, but are not limited to:
Hazardous materials including asbestos, lead, ash, heavy metals, oils, fire retardants, pesticides, silica dust, and other hazardous materials;
Puncture hazards including broken pipes, exposed nails, broken glass, damaged structural elements;
Explosive hazards including propane tanks and solvents;
Toxic airborne particles such as asbestos, silica dust and lead; and
Unstable or slippery surfaces and holes in septic systems and burn pits.
For those who can return to their properties, County officials urge all individuals to utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to adhere to the following precautions and health and safety guidelines to avoid hazardous exposures:
Avoid all burn areas. Do not enter any areas where structures were burned until you receive a clearance from authorities.
Do not eat in or around any burned areas nor food that may have been exposed to ash, dust, or smoke. Wash and rinse all fruit and vegetables that may have been exposed.
Avoid skin contact with ash by wearing long sleeves, gloves, closed shoes, and an N100 or P100 respiratory protection and bring a change of clothes to avoid tracking debris in your car home or workplace.
Clean all recovered items thoroughly with soap and safe/clean water.
Smoke damaged properties and objects may need professional cleaning if heavily exposed or damaged.
County officials have developed a Burn Hazard Details and Warnings Guideline. The CDC Stay Safe After a Wildfire and Wildfire Smoke Factsheet are additional resources available to Maui residents
Burn Area Hazards Details and Warnings Guideline
In the areas of West Maui where structures were burned, individuals will encounter dangerous conditions and may be exposed to toxic materials that include, but are not limited to:
For those who can return to the properties in the Lāhainā area, where burned ash, soot and debris are present, utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and adhere to the following precautions and health and safety guidelines to avoid hazardous exposures:
Hazardous Material Details and Warnings
What is it?
Asbestos fibers are released into the air during activities that disturb asbestos-containing materials. The asbestos fibers can then be inhaled without knowing and trapped in the lungs. If swallowed, they can become embedded into the digestive tract as well. Asbestos is a known human carcinogenic and can cause chronic lung disease, lung cancer, and other cancers. Symptoms, and cancer, may take years to develop following exposure.
Where is the hazard?
The hazard may occur during contact with deteriorating asbestos containing materials and during cleanup after natural disasters and structure fires. Some materials are presumed to contain asbestos if installed before 1981 include: thermal system insulation, roofing and siding shingles, vinyl floor tiles, plaster, cement, putties and caulk, and ceiling tiles coatings.
OSHA Fact Sheet on Asbestos
Lead is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals. Lead poisoning can cause permanent damage to the brain and many other organs and causes reduced intelligence and behavioral problems. Lead can also cause abnormal fetal development in pregnant women. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check you or your child for lead exposure.
Lead Paint in Housing. Approximately three-quarters of the nation’s housing stock built before 1978 (approximately 64 million dwellings) contains some lead-based paint. When properly maintained and managed, this paint poses little risk. However, 1.7 million children have blood- lead levels above safe limits, mostly due to exposure to lead-based paint hazards. Following a fire this lead is present in dust and ash form. Lead can also be found in Solar Panels.
EPA Information on Lead