Monday, December 05, 2011

Radon and smoking – two factors for lung cancer

Smoking is bad enough, but if you also breathe in high levels
of radon at home, your risk of lung cancer increases even more.
If you are smoking, you know the risk. But often people don’t know that they have high radon levels in their home, which increases their risk of developing lung cancer (and some forms of skin cancer, as a new study shows).

Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment and that can accumulate in a home after entering it through cracks and fissures in the foundation. Even new homes can have elevated radon levels.

Experts say people can test their homes for radon quite easily and reduce levels of radon with a few relatively inexpensive renovations.

A heavy smoker has a one-in-10 chance of developing lung cancer. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon results in a one-in-20 chance of developing lung cancer.

Both exposures increase the odds substantially to a one-in-three chance, Health Canada says.

The experts shared the following tips:
  • Test your home for radon. The winter months are a good time to place the small detector in the basement, if you spend around 4 hours per day there, or on the ground floor. Send it to the lab after three months.
  • Seal cracks in the foundation
  • Put a cap on the sump pump
  • In a home with very high levels of radon, you can install a special pipe and venting system that pumps air outside (active soil depressurization)
You can also use an air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA to help keep the air clean.

Source: The Daily Gleaner

Complete air purifiers for homes and offices

AllerAir develops complete air purifiers for the home and office with a multistage filtration system that contains many pounds of activated carbon, HEPA and UV.

Together, these air filters can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants, including
  1. chemicals, gases, VOCs, fumes 
  2. particles, dust, allergens 
  3. bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact AllerAir for more information.