» Indoor Health Matters

January is National Radon Action Month – Get Involved!

Posted by Kylie on January 23rd, 2013

Radon can enter the home through a cracked floor or foundation. January has been designated National Radon Action Month by the Environmental Protection Agency to raise awareness and protect families against the dangers of radon. With more deaths from this colorless, odorless gas than from drunk driving, it’s wise to take some time to learn more about it and take action to lower your family’s exposure in the home.

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Are You At Risk for Radon Exposure?

Posted by Ashley on January 6th, 2012

Radon Gas Danger Sign
You can’t smell it, you can’t taste it, and you can’t see it—but you may have a serious air quality problem on your hands.

Radon, a cancer-causing gas that can reach toxic levels in your home, is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. Many victims never even picked up a cigarette. And even more frightening is the idea that at this moment, you may not even know you have a problem. That’s why it’s so important to test your home for radon. January is National Radon Action Month and there’s never been a better time to find out if you’re at risk.

Radon is formed when the chemical element uranium naturally decays in soil, rock, and water. As it breaks down, tiny radioactive particles are released into the air. These particles enter and become trapped in your lungs as you breathe, increasing your risk of developing lung cancer.

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Test Your Home and Protect Your Health from Radon Exposure

Posted by Ivey on January 6th, 2011

National Radon Action Month LogoEven though you can’t see, smell, or taste radon, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t present in your home. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to radon, a colorless, odorless radioactive gas, is the cause of more than 21,000 deaths each year. Moreover, it is one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the United States—second only to smoking—and most people have no idea they are at risk.

The EPA has officially designated January as National Radon Action Month. So what better time than now to check your home for radon and start improving the health of your home and your family? In fact, checking the radon levels in your home is a fairly painless and simple task. Continue reading

Sylvane Helps You Do Your Part

Posted by Ivey on February 11th, 2010

Pick 5 for the EnvironmentFinding ways to protect and preserve our environment seems to be on everyone’s minds these days. So, if you’re searching for new ideas to add to your green routine or just feel like you aren’t doing enough, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pick 5 for the Environment program.

Pick 5 encourages people to commit to five actions that promote conservation of the environment. The EPA provides a list of ten actions to help you choose your five. These actions range from using less water to eCycling. If after scanning the list, you’re still feeling stumped, Sylvane can help. Here are a few suggestions that help conserve the outdoor environment by treating problems in your indoor environment.
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National Radon Action Month

Posted by Ashley on January 16th, 2009

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

Healthy Indoor Air for America’s Homes

Posted by John on November 9th, 2008

American Profile recently interviewed Michael Vogel, director of the Montana chapter of Healthy Indoor Air for American’s Homes. He has been offering indoor air quality advice for over 20 years.

Vogel points out that “Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote an article on the importance of fresh air and ventilation back in the 1800s” – but today, experts know much more about the risks of various pollutants. Continue reading

Cell Phone Use Linked to Brain Tumors in Children

Posted by John on October 4th, 2008

Ask ten people to name ten possessions that they can’t live without, and most are likely to list their cell phones. But these convenient devices may be much more dangerous than their owners realize, especially when it comes to use among children.

The Daily Green reports that a Swedish study found that people who begin using cell phones before the age of 20 are five times more likely to develop a glioma, a form of brain cancer.
Children are more susceptible to developing cancer from exposure to cell phone radiation because their brains and skulls are not fully developed. The Independent put it this way: “They are more at risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and because – since their heads are smaller and their skulls are thinner – the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains.” Continue reading

Federal Agencies Hold First Healthy Homes Summit

Posted by John on September 23rd, 2008

Last week four federal agencies held their first Healthy Homes Summit in Baltimore. The goal of the summit was to promote the building of healthy homes free of lead, chemicals, mold, moisture, and pests.

“Health doesn’t happen in the hospital. It happens at home,” says Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Our goal isn’t to be Big Brother, but people are asking for advice and information.” Continue reading

Reduce Cancer Risk Factors in Your Environment

Posted by John on September 20th, 2008

Cancer is now the leading cause of death worldwide. While there is a genetic component to cancer, you can reduce your risk greatly by exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, and avoiding carcinogens in your environment.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) points out the most common environmental carcinogens:

Air Pollution

radon detectionRadon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that forms in soil and rock, and it can build up to dangerous levels in your home undetected. Exposure to radon is a known cause of lung cancer, and this stealthy gas may kill over 30,000 Americans per year. Install a radon detection kit to protect your family. Continue reading

Granite Countertops May Emit Radon

Posted by John on August 14th, 2008

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

Do I Need A Radon Detector?

Posted by John on July 19th, 2008

Safety Siren Radon DetectorsYes! 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