Posts Tagged ‘home safety’

Is radon dangerous? How do you know if you have radon in your home?

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

I just assumed everyone knew what radon gas was and why it is bad for you.  Recently I was talking to a very smart, educated woman. I forget the context of the conversation, but she told me she had never heard of radon or that it can cause cancer.  Viola, blog post idea.  So here goes.

For starters, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind cigarettes.

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Carbon monoxide poisoning: Prevent and treat it this winter

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

There are always scary stories about carbon monoxide deaths this time of year.  It can happen any time, but in the winter, people have the heat on and the house sealed.

A family of four were guests in an Aspen, Colorado, mansion recently and died in the night.  I remember a famous tennis player died a few years ago staying in someone’s guest room.  Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, does not discriminate against any social class.  It can affect anyone.  In fact, a draft or two in an old house might help a little to ventilate it out.

Carbon monoxide is a product of carbon fuel combustion from things like fireplaces, heaters, exhaust fumes, pollution or volcano eruptions.  The modern day poisoning usually comes when you combine an inefficient or malfunctioning heat source with a relatively sealed space.  It’s popular way to commit suicide, with 2,000 deaths per year from breathing exhaust fumes in a closed garage.

And then there are the accidental exposures.

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