Environmental Pollution

Tony Walter, Green Bay Press-Gazette The threat of radon makes this the season to be wary. The gas that can't be seen or smelled but is the second-leading cause of lung cancer — smoking is No. 1 — is a particular peril to this area at this time of year. "A lot has to do with the geology in this area," said Jerry Weyer of Radon Reduction Specialists in Manitowoc, referring to the traces of uranium in the regional bedrock that converts to radioactive radon gas as it decays. "But houses are shut tight at this time of year —…

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Peggy Bagnoli Data_image.jpg Radon remains a leading cause of cancer. As we to ramp up action to reduce radon’s health risk, two areas we can all get smarter on are the collection and use of data. EPA, states, and several national and regional consortia all collect radon data. These programs have differing data needs, reporting requirements, thresholds, calculation protocols, and approaches to validation and verification. Despite these differences, the data collections share common purposes – improved tracking and understanding of radon exposure. Data is information and information is the programmatic foundation for effective radon risk reduction. People leading these programs…

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Matthew Beaudin, Telluride Daily Planet doc4cf9af6005ea0846693142.jpg The rise of the Atomic Age in the 1940s carried with it the promises of new energy and economic frontiers. It built towns in the Southwest and provided jobs. And then, the industry packed up and left, though it left much of itself behind in the form toxic waste and economically exhaled towns. It’s in the industry’s remains that Doug Brugge, a professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts University, toils. He’s done oral histories on mining’s impacts on the Navajo Nation and has followed that work up with studies on the…

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Chris Woolston, The Los Angeles Times Radiation Sign.jpg You may not realize it, but your life is radioactive. If you've eaten a banana lately, potassium-40 atoms in your body are shooting out thousands of particles every second. And if you're anywhere near solid ground, you can assume that radon gas is pelting you with gamma rays. With X-rays at the dental office, radon in the basement and cosmic rays beaming down from space, we're literally surrounded by radioactivity and high-powered radiation. Invisible, exotic and — as nuclear weapons have so clearly demonstrated — potentially lethal, radiation seems perfectly suited to…

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Liz Szabo, USA TODAY What can you do to protect your family from everyday toxins? Plenty, writes USA TODAY health reporter Liz Szabo, in Fresh: Women's Health Guide, a new USA TODAY publication that hits newsstands today. (I've also contributed a feature for Fresh on how to "Be Cheap, Be Green.) Here's Szabo's list of the toxic 10, in no particular order, with ideas for avoiding them. Lead -- potent neurotoxin that can cause brain damage, even in low doses. Although it was taken out of gasoline three decades ago, it's still found in many homes, especially those built before…

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I have recently moved to Washington, D.C., a relatively larger and more urban setting than that of my little lake house back in the Midwest. I have never lived in such a metropolitan city before and I have become greatly overwhelmed at times by the large amounts of buildings and people and the small occurrences of green space. Although the city I am from is not fitted with gorgeous scenery or a picturesque background, I still miss the simplicity of life out on the lake. It seems to be a contradiction to me: working for the EPA while surrounded by…

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WISN.com 2.jpg MILWAUKEE -- Radon gas is a deadly hazard found in thousands of homes across the area. You may have heard about the risks and warnings of radon, but chances are, you've never seen the impact that radon can have and the danger it can pose to your family. "The doctor came and put his hand on my shoulder and said, I have cancer," cancer patient Liz Hoffman said. It was lung cancer, and for Hoffman, the first question was, "Why?" "I've never smoked. (I was) not around second-hand smoke. (There's no) no reason for me to have lung…

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Durante las pasadas tres semanas, he sostenido una conversación ambiental con mis colegas en la blogosfera sobre la disposición de la joyería infantil de juguete y baratijas de metal contaminadas con cadmio y plomo. Me alegró el intercambio que se desarrolló con el pasar del tiempo. Los comentarios me han motivado a escribir un tercer blog sobre el tema. Además, me complace poder informar que desde que comenzamos esta conversación sobre la joyería infantil y baratijas tóxicas, la Comisión para la Seguridad de los Productos de Consumo de EE.UU. ha anunciado la retirada del mercado de varios artículos por estar…

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In last week’s blog “When In Doubt, Throw It Out!,” I discussed the use of toxic metals in some toy jewelry and metal trinkets produced overseas. As the title suggested, I recommended if you were concerned over the potential toxicity and risks of these toys, the best thing to do was to dispose of these products. However, I didn’t address another legitimate concern: is it safe for the environment to simply throw these articles in the trash? Well, the answer is yes. I will explain why. First of all, I would like to thank two individuals, Mauricio D’Achiardi and Joan,…

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