White Powder…. What is it?
At your place of business you find a white powdery substance. Is it mold? Is it an old pesticide? Could it be anthrax or ricin?
Take the worst possible case, anthrax or ricin. If you suspect terrorism or foul play then your first call should be to the police. First and foremost is protecting the safety of anyone in the area. Leaving the area in a manner that will not disturb anything is critical. The police will contact the appropriate hazmat team to determine what actions are needed. The police will also want the area to be cleared and nothing disturbed as so they can collect evidence. Terrorism or foul play using anthrax or ricin is statistically unlikely, however protecting human health is always the first step in responding to an unusual unknown powdery substance.
Other likely sources for the white powder would be mold. Mold growth due to water or moisture problems can appear white in color. If the white powder is in an obviously water damaged area such as under a leaky sink, wet ceiling tiles or damp crawlspace the it would make common sense to contact a mold testing firm.
If you find a white powder looking substance behind your refrigerator or other areas where a pest control company would be treating for roaches, mice or other pest then you would want to contact a pest control company, because the white powder maybe chemical residue.
We do live in a time where people with ill intent have access to dangerous substances. If the worst case scenario is true the correct response may help save lives, also it may give police the evidence they need to identify the party responsible.
Always remember to be conscience of your environment. Whether it is chemical residue, mold, or another mysterious substance know the right procedures to take and the right people to call.