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.

indoor pollutant

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.

You must know the hidden dangers of aluminium foil

In India almost every third house having rolls of aluminium foil in the kitchen, used for wrapping food. Aluminium is used for the preparation of aluminium foil, due to its malleable property and so, it can be easily converted into thin sheets that can be folded, rolled and packed. Aluminium foils are broadly used for packing purposes, which acts as a barrier towards the light and oxygen that is why it protects the food from being oxidized and rancid. Hence, it increases the keeping quality of the product without storing in refrigeration. Due to unaware of hidden dangers, people used aluminium foil for wrapping and cooking meat in the oven. But according to some studies, it was observed that, on cooking, heat significantly leads to leaching of aluminium from the foil into the food. Higher the temperature of cooking the greater the leaching and causes higher deposition of aluminium in the body that leads to osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, anxiety, depression, nervous system disorders, renal failure, respiratory problems, stomach ache, indigestion, etc. and it goes on increasing as the metabolic system of our body is not able to remove its accumulation from the body. Greater levels of aluminium in the body competes with the calcium by obstructing the accumulation of the calcium in bone, thus, increases the calcium level in the bloodstream, inhibits bone mineralization and resulting in osteoporosis, which weakens the bones. Therefore, aluminium foil is not found suitable for cooking and is also not good for wrapping the spicy food and citrus fruits and vegetables. On contrary to this, no leaching or migration of aluminium was observed and can be considered as safe on wrapping cold foods like bread and sandwiches.

Hidden dangers of aluminium foil

How to avoid aluminium in the kitchen:-

  1. Never use aluminium foil for cooking purposes, but use this only for wrapping and storing the cold food in the refrigerator.
  2. Use glass container for storing food as a glass is non-reactive material.
  3. Don’t pack citrus fruits and vegetables along with acidic and spicy food as leaching is observed more in these types of foods.
  4. Pack only cold foods such as bread, sandwiches.
  5. Don’t use aluminium utensils for cooking, whereas, go for stainless utensils.

Spectro Analytical Lab offers all the facilities and instruments for quality testing in order to check adulteration and contamination in all the food products. It also provides training and assistance in this regard.

Keep ocean blue- Marine life is dying in numbers

Anything which is present in the marine environment that causes harm is known as pollution. There are different types of pollution in the sea like plastic wastes, oil, chemicals, agriculture and industrial wastes and sewage waste as these pollutants can interfere with the life cycle of several aquatic lives. The largest natural water body on the Earth are oceans, which provide habitat to the various animals and plants, but due to a variety of human activities, the marine life is now adversely affected by the marine pollution. Now, it is the responsibility of each and every citizen of the world in keeping the natural water bodies neat and clean so that the aquatic life can grow and flourish well.

Keep Ociean Blue

Pollution enters into the water bodies by different ways:-

  1. Sewage waste: Sewage polluting waste directly enters into the ocean by sewage, rivers or drainages. This toxic waste reduced the oxygen levels in the water and so decreases the chances of survival of the marine life.
  2. Industrial toxic waste: Disposing of the toxic liquid into the ocean, as a source of industrial and agricultural waste, create ocean pollution that adversely affects the aquatic life. As the temperature of these hazardous chemicals is high, they alleviate the ocean temperature also known as thermal pollution which directly affects the marine life. These chemicals deposit in the internal tissues of the animals, leading to infertility. Aquatic plants and animals cannot exist at elevated temperatures and ultimately collapse. It also affects the process of photosynthesis by stopping of sunlight.
  3. Through oil spills: Oil spill is the most destructive and it is a great source of pollution in the ocean. Crude oil has existed for several years in the sea water and is highly toxic to aquatic life, marine animals died due to suffocation and it is very difficult to clean. Ships are also responsible for the noise pollution, which disturbs the life cycles of aquatic lives.
  4. Littering: It is the huge source of water pollution in the ocean, it occurs when the garbage, including plastic debris, polythene bags, man-made waste are blown through the wind. This waste cannot degrade and remains suspended in the water for years. Small animals got confused and caught the plastic waste for the food and died slowly over a period of time and these small animals later eaten up by the big animals. Animals that died in the majority due to this plastic waste include seabirds, sea turtles, fishes, sharks, crabs, seahorse, starfish, jelly fish, dolphins, crocodiles, penguins, etc. Further, the contaminated aquatic animals are then eaten up by the humans, gets accumulated in their body that leads to cancer, infertility and birth defects. Thus, ocean pollution severely affects the entire food chain.

Spectro Analytical Lab offers all the facilities and instruments for testing quality and all the safety parameters related to water. It also provides training and assistance in this regard.

Hidden Dangers in Nonstick Cookware!

Nonstick cookware is designed for low to medium heat cooking and has health benefits including less oil cooking to prepare a healthy meal, especially for the people suffering from high cholesterol and diabetes. Cooking at high heat can cause damage, chipping or peeling of nonstick coated cookware. Nonstick coating allows food browning without sticking in a skillet. Cookware surface coated with man-made chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), known as Teflon a DuPont trademark, produces a non stick surface which is extremely stable (it does not react with other chemicals). It also provides frictionless surface and used in many products like fabric protectors.

Hidden Dangers in Nonstick

Teflon-coated cookware is considered to be the safe, even if scratched. However, its long term exposing effects have not been studied. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is another man-made chemical which is used in the processing of Teflon and other chemical materials. In this process PFOA is burned off and is not present in the final products. PFOA has the potential to create health problems as it can stay in the environment and can accumulate in the human body for a long time. People exposed at their workplace and in the kitchen can have higher levels of PFOA and other hazardous, toxic fumes that have been liberated from the nonstick cookware if heated at temperatures up to 680 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to which people develop flu like symptoms (irritation in eyes, nose and throat and respiratory distress) and thyroid disease. It also leads to an increase in tumors of the liver, pancreas and testicles and reduced fertility in lab animals.

How to Use Non-Stick Cookware –

  • Read the instructions carefully before using.
  • Don’t preheat the nonstick utensils at high temperature as unfilled cookware can quickly reach high temperatures.
  • If possible cook food at medium or low heat.
  • Considering less oil cooking with non stick cookware.
  • Using oil above its smoke point will cause it to carbonize on the surface and producing a dark-colored stain that is difficult to remove.
  • Always use plastic or wooden ladder for cooking food instead of steel to avoid scratching and also never stack these pans.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleansers or scouring pads for cleaning nonstick cookware.
  • Don’t keep nonstick pan in an oven more than 500 degrees F.
  • Always consider a stove burner that is equivalent to the size of the bottom of the pan.
  • Always turn on exhaust fan while cooking with non-stick cookware.
  • The fumes liberated from an overheated pan can kill a bird within few seconds.
  • Lightweight cookware generally heats up quickly, so choose heavy weight cookware.
  • Enjoy safe and healthy meal.

Spectro Analytical Lab provides all the facilities and instruments for testing different types of hazardous chemicals and other contaminants in nonstick cookware and other utensils.  It also provides training and assistance in this regard.