Last Friday (the 13th), one of our employees – with a particularly keen sense of smell – detected a potentially deadly problem with our office’s air quality. Walking back and forth from the warehouse, our warehouse manager, Drew, (and his bloodhound-like olfactory sense) sniffed traces of gas that seemed to be emanating from the Sylvane break room. As an initial step, we confirmed the presence of a dangerous gas using our trusty Safety Siren Pro Series Combination Gas Detector. But when it was clear that the odor was growing stronger, we thought it was best to call in a natural gas expert to diagnose the problem and advise us on how to handle it. A half-hour later, we identified the scary pollutant – carbon monoxide. The culprit? More on that in a minute. Continue reading
Cleaner, pollutant-free air adds almost 5 months to our lives. So say the results of an interesting study published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine. The study, headed by an epidemiologist at Brigham Young University (BYU), tracked the correlation between particulate pollution levels and life expectancy over 2 decades in 51 U.S. cities. Researchers say it’s the first to illustrate that reducing air pollution can translate into a longer lifespan. How’s that for a reason to make an air purifier a permanent part of your environment? Continue reading
Take a deep breath in.
Did you know that right this minute, you could be inhaling a cancer-causing gas responsible for killing an average of 20,000 Americans each year? It’s true. The scariest part? This gas, known as radon, is virtually undetectable by our senses because it’s odorless, colorless, and tasteless. It’s a silent killer that can flourish under the radar in any home, any school, and any building. Luckily, increased exposure is totally preventable by using a good-quality radon detector. This month, in recognition of National Radon Action Month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urges you to get educated about radon prevention and to make indoor testing a habit so that you don’t become a statistic. Continue reading
Just last month, the New York Times reported that granite countertops may emit harmful levels of radon. As granite countertops have become more popular, the media has been receiving more reports of high radon readings.
Lou Witt, program analyst at the EPA’s Indoor Environments Division, says, “We’ve been hearing from people all over the country concerned about high readings” – referring to measurements of radiation that go far above normal background levels. Continue reading
Last year when I rented a “fixer upper” house in the Atlanta area, I got a good deal on the rent in exchange for doing some cosmetic work to the interior of the house. Little did I know, the house needed more than a bit of lipstick.
After I ripped up the carpet, refinished the floors, and painted the whole interior, a foul odor still lingered. I tried everything to get rid of the smell – from air purifiers to specialized cleaning solutions. Nothing seemed to work.
The first time it rained, I realized why the odor wouldn’t go away. Every time it rained, water flooded the front sunroom. The water didn’t come from one particular place, as with a single leak; rather, it streamed down the walls like a waterfall, making a large puddle on the floor. There was something fundamentally wrong with the construction of this room. Talk about sick building syndrome! Continue reading
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that kills approximately 2500 Americans each year. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is found in combustion fumes from automobiles, small engines, lanterns, stoves, grills, fireplaces, gas power generators, and gas ranges and heating systems. When these fumes build up in enclosed spaces, people can easily die from breathing CO. Continue reading
Yes! According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), naturally occurring radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. alone – second only to cigarette smoking among causes of lung cancer.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that’s undetectable by humans. It forms when uranium decays, and then it seeps out from rock formations and certain building materials. Continue reading