Radon –A radioactive indoor pollutant causes Lung cancer

Radon is a noble and radioactive gas produced naturally by decaying of radium present in the ores of uranium and rocks. As it is an inert gas, it does not produce any hazardous effects, but on radioactive disintegration alpha, beta and gamma particles are produced. Gamma particles are dangerous and can travel through the human body. It is an odourless, tasteless, highly toxic, invisible gas which is fairly soluble in water and organic solvents, seeps into the ground and from the ground it spread into the surrounding atmosphere. The Radon gas when released through the ground, diffuses into the atmosphere in the diluted form therefore, causes no harm. But in homes, it is found in more concentrated form and can be highly toxic to the health of the family members as, most of the houses and apartments have been constructed over the top of the radon producing rocks. On breaking down on radon gas it is converted into radioactive substances and releases energy which on absorbed by tissues, can destroy the DNA and thus elevated the risk of cellular damage and lung cancer. There is not a safe level for radon gas so, it’s long term effects on indoor air and increases the chances of cancer. By switching to healthy diet one can reduce the risks of several health related problems caused by the exposure of radon gas. Examples of such foods are- Broccoli, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, beet-root, kale, Brussels sprouts, green tea, dry fruits, seafoods, fruits, vitamin C and supplements of zinc and selenium. Now the question is how this toxic gas enters into the houses and changed the quality of indoor air? The air pressure in the soil is higher than that of indoor air pressure and this difference in concentration of air pressure is the easiest way for radon gas to enter into the house if there is any crack in the floor, walls, window casements, construction joints, gaps around the pipes, floor drains. The difference in air pressure varies from a house to house, the level can be analyzed by go through radon test because testing is the only best way to analyze the radon level in the indoor air, as there are no such signs to give an indication about the exposure. There are two methods for analyzing the percentage of a radon are- a radon test kit method, and by hiring a certified professional from a testing lab for conducting a radon test for at least 3 months. Radon gas testing was conducted in different industrial polluted cities of Haryana like Faridabad, Rewari, Gurugram (Gurgaon), Yamuna Nagar, Ambala, Panipat and Jagadhari. It was done because of the climatic conditions; it is very hot during summers and markedly cold in the winter season. The radon concentration is lower during rainy season and greater in winter than in summer because the ventilation and the exchange of air become very poor in winters. Limestone, slate stone, dolomite, building stone, china clay and marble are found in Haryana and at some places graphite and quartzite are also found. Further, Mountain and Shivalik hills are present in the north and southwest Haryana respectively, which can be a great source of radon gas.

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If a high percentage of radon is evaluated in indoor air then these precautions should be taken

  1. A regular maintenance of the house is required by sealing all the cracks and holes in the walls, floors, around pipes and drains to avoid the health issues.
  2. Proper ventilation is important because the exchange of internal air is beneficial in reducing the radon level.
  3. By installing a pump that is used to withdraw radon gas from the from below the concrete flooring before it can admitted into the house.

Radon

Spectro Analytical Labs have fully accredited facilities for chemical and quality testing of indoor and outdoor air containing toxic pollutants. It also provides training and assistance in this regard.

Agarbatti Fumes Harmful then Cigarette Smoke- Avoid it

Hindusian is worlds oldest religion that is originated on Indian sub continent. All over the world from temples to homes in Hindu religion, no puja is completed without the lighting of lamps, dhups and agarbatti in front of God and spiritually. In India, Karnataka is the leading producer of agarbatti.  In every home and we burn dhup and agarbattis in order to make the supreme power God happy, but it can have a negative effect on our health especially on children and old age people. We all burn it unfamiliar with the fact that this ritual can be harmful, i.e. its prolonged inhalation increases the risk of cardiovascular and coronary  heart diseases by affecting the flow of blood , the mutations that DNA changes might lead to cancer and are cytotoxic .

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Fumes of agarbatti mainly contains the volatile organic compounds and particulate matter that may cause respiratory problems. The fumes generate indoor air pollution, mainly due to carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and formaldehyde that leads to sneezing, coughing, breathing problems.In other words, we can say that it is much more harmful than a cigarette because it increases the risk of respiratory tract cancer.

When the person comes in contact with the particulate matter that present in fumes of agarbattis causes irritation, allergy and itching of skin and eyes. The highest concentration of these fumes associated with neurological problems like headaches, migraines, less concentration and forgetfulness. When it is compared to cigarette smoke, incense smoke is more mutagenesis, cytotoxic and genotoxic.

According to some studies agarbatti on burning emit toxic fumes consists of lead, iron and magnesium that increases a toxic load in the blood that simultaneously affect kidneys. These fumes thereby increase the toxic loads in the body and leads to nephrological problems because the smoke consists of 64 harmful compounds.

So, it is Suggested:

  • Doesn’t burn agarbattis and dhup around children.
  • Only burn these in an open area or in the area with proper ventilation.
  • If necessary, use exhaust to avoid harmful effects of the fumes.
  • Do not purchase the cheaper product as they liberate more amount of pollutants.

Spectro Analytical Lab offers all the facilities and instruments for chemical and quality testing of the products that contain harmful substances. It also provides training and assistance in this regard.

Indoor Air Pollution- A Major Health Concern

Indoor air pollution is a major environmental health problem affecting both developed as well as developing countries. It bursts from the sources of dust, gases and smoke, and is propagated mainly by human activities. People’s exposure to indoor air pollution is determined by the concentrations of pollutants in the internal environment and, most importantly, by the time individuals spend in polluted habitat. Internal air quality of the residential environment is affected by many factors and with an effort to conserve energy, modern building plan has favoured airtight structures with less ventilation. Outdoor pollution is more hazardous when it becomes indoor air pollution. According to the recent data over 2 million deaths occur every year because of indoor air pollution. Toxic products, improper ventilation, high temperature and humidity are some of the factors responsible for indoor air pollution in our internal environment.

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Sources of Indoor Pollutants Are –

Asbestos: is the main cause of indoor air pollution. Asbestos can be present in different types of materials that are generally used in industries and constructing buildings. They are commonly present in coatings, paints, building materials, ceiling and floor tiles. It has been banned in the US as it is responsible for causing serious health issues such as lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other types of cancers.

Formaldehyde: is another common indoor air pollutant which is present in paints, sealants, and wood floors. It is responsible for the irritation of throat, eyes, and nose and various types of cancer.

Radon: is a gas that naturally occurs in soil and various kinds of bedrocks that can get inside the houses by diffusing through soil. It causes lung cancer.

Tobacco Smoke: causes severe respiratory problems like respiratory irritation, pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease, as well as lung cancer.

Microbes: Microorganisms like bacteria, moulds and viruses can come in indoor areas and responsible for various types of allergies, flu, infections and asthma. They grow well in damp areas as well as in animal dander and make sick.

Objects: such as wood stoves, space heaters, and fireplaces cause respiratory infections, damage and irritation to the lungs.

Chemicals: used in pest control, varnishes, paints, and certain cleaning products emit pollution inside the home and responsible for poor indoor air quality causes bad odours, headache,  irritation in eyes, nose, throat, loss of coordination, liver, brain, and kidney damage and cancer.

Pets and pests: Pets, pests, dust mites, cockroaches and mice are the various sources of allergens. These allergens can lead to diseases of the airways, rhinitis, and asthma. But, people who are allergic should avoid exposure to substances to which they are allergic.

How to Improve Indoor Air quality- Quit smoking, stop using woodstoves as well as certain types of space heaters, use of vacuum cleaner with brushes, keep your shoes out of the living area.

Spectro Analytical Labs Limited offers reliable testing services to their customers with reference to environmental air pollution. It also determines the range of contaminants present in the air pollution.