Radon in the News
Fargo - Lars Knobloch likes to poke around what are often private areas in a home.
He peers into cabinets, crawls through attics, and scours the hidden recesses of basements.
It’s not that he’s nosy. It’s his job.
Knobloch does real estate inspections as well as testing for mold, asbestos, lead, radon and allergens through his business, Nordic Home Inspection.
“People save money on home inspections, really, because they will find things and they can negotiate with the seller,” Knobloch said. “I see more and more sellers are doing home inspections so they can show buyers the condition of the house. If there would be a major problem that would scare the potential buyers away, the seller could just take care of it.”
Knobloch moved to the area from Namsos, Norway, two years ago in March and started his business the beginning of last year.
Q: How has business been going?
After years of weighing in on issues like secondhand tobacco smoke and radon exposure, Dr. Jonathan Samet is accustomed to controversy.
And last week, Dr. Samet, a University of Southern California physician and epidemiologist, found himself at the center of debate again as chairman of a World Health Organization committee ruling on the health effects of cellphone use. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which consisted of 31 scientists from 14 countries, concluded that cellphones are “possibly carcinogenic,” putting the devices in the same category as about 260 chemicals, pesticides and other substances, including coffee, that might lead to certain cancers.
Today's reported link between cell-phone use and brain cancer is the latest salvo in a debate about whether gabbing on your cell phone poses health risks. But there's little argument about the health threats of radon, lead, arsenic, volatile organic compounds, and other hazards that lurk in most homes. Here are some tips—and products from Consumer Reports tests—that can help you find and conquer those issues.
This past March, Portland grocers found themselves in an unlikely scenario: There was a run on sea kelp. Locations like the New Seasons Market on Hawthorne were soon completely out, and a little sign promised that more would be ordered. Why had this happened? The answer was global. Portlanders were wondering if they would need the kelp—a natural source of iodine—to block the radioactive iodine spewing from the Fukushima reactors after the devastating earthquake and tsunamis hit Japan.
In the Nuclear Age, there is nothing like radioactivity to grab our attention. It is the ultimate hot topic. So could this be a good time to remind everyone of another threat —not from the sky—but from uranium decaying in the ground? Could this be the time to revisit the subject of radon gas?
GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan — Just one top prize would have been nice.
After 54 years of finding the area’s best young scientists, the Flint Regional Science Fair never had one of its participants bring home a first-place or best-in-category award from the international competition.
Two of the five Genesee County-area students who participated in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles this month each brought home the two highest honors for their categories: first place and best in category.
Matthew Bauerle, a home-schooled 11th-grader from Oceola Township in Livingston County, and Nithin Tumma, a 17-year-old Port Huron Northern High School student, won the awards at what is dubbed the world’s largest high school science research competition.
Only twice in the competition’s history have two students from the same regional fair won the best-in-category award, fair officials said.
TERRE HAUTE — Eleven Indiana child care facilities have boosted their efforts to protect children from environmental threats. Among them is Tender Moments Playhouse, a facility in Terre Haute that received five stars.
As members of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Five Star Environmental Recognition Program for Child Care Providers, these providers excel in their efforts to offer environmental conditions in their facilities that exceed minimum requirements.
“Children under the age of 6 are our most vulnerable population,” said IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly. “Participants in IDEM’s Five Star program deserve recognition for exceeding expectations to minimize children’s exposure to harmful contaminants. Any family considering their child care options should definitely consider these facilities first.”
How safe is your home?
The Rockland County Department of Health says that June is Home Safety Month, a great time to take simple steps to make your dream home is free from possible safety nightmares.
“People often feel the most safe and comfortable in their own homes, but unfortunately, the home is also the place where many injuries occur,” said Dr. Joan Facelle, Rockland County Commissioner of Health. “Children and older adults often are at greatest risk for injuries at home. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent injuries and improve you and your family's safety at home.”
Here are a examples of some steps to make the home safer for the entire family:
- Watch young children whenever they’re near cooking areas and never leave food cooking on the stove if an adult is not in the room.
- Lock cleaning supplies and medicines in cabinets out of the reach of children.
Check for radon
If you take good care of your lungs, they can last a lifetime. “The lungs are very durable if they’re not attacked from the outside,” says Norman H. Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Lung Association (ALA). With a few exceptions, your lungs don’t get into trouble unless you get them into trouble, he says.
However, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth-leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease, cancer and stroke. Here are 12 things you can do to keep your lungs healthy as you age.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. It typically leaks into a house through cracks in the foundation and walls. Radon is the main cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, and the second-leading cause of the disease after smoking.
Ginger Collins died of lung cancer in February. Her family believes the cause of Collins' disease can be attributed to exposure to radon, a colorless, odorless natural gas that is fairly common in Western Virginia.
PEARISBURG -- For more than 30 years, Ginger Collins worked, prayed and raised her three daughters in the ranch-style brick house she and her husband built atop Bunker Hill.
Little did she know that something inside her workplace, her refuge, her life, was slowly killing her.
Collins died in February of lung cancer. She was 58.
Thing is, "Mama never smoked a day in her life," said Collins' youngest daughter, Tina Steele.
Collins' family believes that their beloved mother, wife and sister fell victim to radon, a naturally occurring gas that is the No. 2 leading cause of lung cancer -- second only to cigarette smoke.
Scientists may have found a way to predict earthquakes.
According to a team of NASA and Russian space and physical scientists, in the days before the March 11 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, the atmosphere directly above the epicenter rapidly heated up.
In a presentation at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, the researchers presented data indicating that starting on March 3, the electron count in the ionosphere – the upper part of the atmosphere – increased dramatically.
The count reached its peak three days before the temblor struck.
"Our first results show that on March 8th a rapid increase of emitted infrared radiation was observed from the satellite data," said Dimitar Ouzounov.
Ouzounov and others think movements and stress in the earth can set off a complex series of detectable physical and chemical changes in the atmosphere and ionosphere.