Radon (Rn)- A naturally occurring gas that is formed from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil and enters buildings through the ground. When inhaled, radon particles can cause lung cancer. A person cannot see or smell radon. The only way to know if radon is in your home is to test.
Check out this eBook: Learning about Radon- A part of Nature:
Carbon Monoxide (CO)- Is an odorless, colorless toxic gas. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure. At low concentrations, CO exposure can cause fatigue in healthy people and chest pain in people with heart disease. At higher concentrations, CO exposure can cause impaired vision and coordination, headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea and death. Sources of CO include unvented kerosene and gas heaters, leaking chimneys and furnaces, wood or gas stoves, generators, automobile exhaust, etc. To monitor for CO place CO alarms in sleeping the areas of your home.
Mold and Moisture- The key to mold control is moisture control. To prevent mold from growing in a home it is important to fix water problems. Keep home humidity levels below 60% using dehumidifiers and fans. Clean the mold off hard surfaces using a mild detergent and water. It is not recommended to use biocides (e.g. bleach) to remove mold. Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they can’t be cleaned and dried.
Secondhand Smoke- Classified as a group A carcinogen that contains more than 7,000 substances. Secondhand smoke is a serious health risk to children and adults and there is no safe exposure level. Exposure commonly occurs in homes and vehicles. Secondhand smoke can move between rooms.
Residential Woodsmoke- Wood smoke may smell good but it is not good for you. The biggest threat from wood smoke is fine particulates, which can get into your eyes and respiratory system. The fine particles can cause asthma systems to become worse, trigger heart attacks and other conditions, especially for people who are already at risk. To reduce risk, it is important to burn dry and seasoned wood in the right appliance.
Check out this activity book: Wood Smoke Activity Book
On average a person breathes over 3,000 gallons of air every day. However, polluted air can make you sick, damage tress, crops, lakes and animals. In fact, pollutants like tiny airborne particles and ground level ozone can trigger respiratory problems. Other pollutants make their way into the atmosphere, causing a thinning of the protective ozone layer.
Check out your local air quality here!
Many of our daily activities cause emissions of greenhouse gases. For example, we produce greenhouse gas emissions from burning gasoline when we drive, burning oil or gas for home heating, or using electricity generated from coal, natural gas, and oil. Greenhouse gas emissions vary among individuals depending on a person's location, habits, and personal choices.
What is your carbon footprint? Use this link to calculate:
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