Earthpages.org

The Real Alternative


Leave a comment

Does Your Home Have A Radon Problem?

radon

radon (Photo credit: oparvez)

The following comes from a Canadian source, but it seems the Radon threat is just as bad in the US. Scientists generally agree that Radon is the second mostly likely cause of lung cancer, after smoking. The real horror, however, is that Radon occurs naturally in the soil, beneath unsuspecting homeowners. — MC

By News Canada

All homes contain some radon gas. The question is whether your home’s radon level presents a danger that can be avoided. The amount of radon gas present in your home will depend on various factors such as soil characteristics, geographic location, a home’s construction type, foundation condition, and weather.

It’s almost impossible to predict your home’s radon level based on these factors, but the good news is that a simple test can tell you if you’re in the safe zone or not. There are a number or testing kits available to the Canadian public. Health Canada recommends that the radon test performed in a home or public building be a long-term measurement for a minimum of 3 months.

Alpha Track

These detectors use a small piece of special plastic or film inside a container with a filter-covered opening. Air being tested diffuses (passive detector) or is pumped (active detector) through a filter covering a hole in the container. At the end of the test period the container is sealed and returned to a laboratory for analysis. The testing period of an alpha track detector is usually 1 to 12 months.

Electret Ion Chamber

Two versions of this detector exist: one for short-term tests of a few days or weeks and another for tests of several weeks or months. The detector is exposed during the measurement period, allowing radon to diffuse through a filter-covered opening into the chamber. Results can be read in the home using a special analysis device, or mailed for laboratory analysis. This type of detector can be deployed for 1 to 12 months.

Continuous Monitors

This detector plugs into a standard wall outlet much like a consumer carbon monoxide detector, and continuously monitors for radon. It allows the homeowner to make radon measurements in different areas of the home. After being plugged in for an initial period of 48 hours, the device displays the average radon concentration continuously. This convenience comes at a price though: continuous monitors are generally more expensive than other radon-testing devices.

Charcoal Detectors

Like most testing kits, charcoal detectors need to be exposed to home air for a specified time period. Charcoal detectors consisting of a charcoal-filled container covered with a screen and filter are exposed to a home’s air for two to seven days. They are then sealed and sent to a lab for analysis.

You can find Canadian radon testing service providers listed in the yellow pages, on the Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA) website at: http://www.crpa-acrp.com/biz_directory/radon/ or on the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) website at: http://www.neha-nrpp.org/Canada_Measurement.html. You can also find out more about radon at Health Canada’s website, http://www.healthcanada.gc.ca/radon, where you can order the free booklet Radon – A Guide for Canadian Homeowners.

All homes contain some radon gas. The question is whether your home’s radon level presents a danger that can be avoided? The amount of radon gas present in your home will depend on various factors such as soil characteristics, geographic location, a home’s construction type, foundation condition, and weather.

It’s almost impossible to predict your home’s radon level based on these factors, but the good news is that a simple test can tell you if you’re in the safe zone or not. There are a number or testing kits available to the Canadian public. Health Canada recommends that the radon test performed in a home or public building be a long-term measurement for a minimum of 3 months.

Alpha Track

These detectors use a small piece of special plastic or film inside a container with a filter-covered opening. Air being tested diffuses (passive detector) or is pumped (active detector) through a filter covering a hole in the container. At the end of the test period the container is sealed and returned to a laboratory for analysis. The testing period of an alpha track detector is usually 1 to 12 months.

Electret Ion Chamber

Two versions of this detector exist: one for short-term tests of a few days or weeks and another for tests of several weeks or months. The detector is exposed during the measurement period, allowing radon to diffuse through a filter-covered opening into the chamber. Results can be read in the home using a special analysis device, or mailed for laboratory analysis. This type of detector can be deployed for 1 to 12 months.

Continuous Monitors

This detector plugs into a standard wall outlet much like a consumer carbon monoxide detector, and continuously monitors for radon. It allows the homeowner to make radon measurements in different areas of the home. After being plugged in for an initial period of 48 hours, the device displays the average radon concentration continuously. This convenience comes at a price though: continuous monitors are generally more expensive than other radon-testing devices.

Charcoal Detectors

Like most testing kits, charcoal detectors need to be exposed to home air for a specified time period. Charcoal detectors consisting of a charcoal-filled container covered with a screen and filter are exposed to a home’s air for two to seven days. They are then sealed and sent to a lab for analysis.

You can find Canadian radon testing service providers listed in the yellow pages, on the Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA) website at: http://www.crpa-acrp.com/biz_directory/radon/ or on the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) website at: www.neha-nrpp.org/Canada_Measurement.html. You can also find out more about radon at Health Canada’s website, www.healthcanada.gc.ca/radon, where you can order the free booklet Radon – A Guide for Canadian Homeowners.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/wellness-articles/does-your-home-have-a-radon-problem-1961379.html

About the Author

For over 25 years, News Canada has been providing the media with ready-to-use, timely, credible and copyright-free news content. Editors, broadcasters, web and video content providers rely on News Canada for newsworthy content to effectively enhance their websites, newspapers and broadcasts. Content is made available to you, the media, in the format you need, when you need it.

www.newscanada.com


Leave a comment

Technology Looks to Hydrogen Fuel Cells

English: Cutaway illustration of a fuel cell car

Cutaway illustration of a fuel cell car (via Wikipedia)

By Velma Harvey

Apple has consistently set an example within the computer industry by pursuing and instituting environmentally friendly practices wherever possible. Most recently, Apple has applied for a few patents that suggest the company may be looking into using hydrogen as a source of power for future devices.

Since the creation of the first uni-body MacBook Pro, which was made from recycled aluminum and glass and contained few of the toxic chemicals present in most laptop computers, Apple has banked on its reputation for producing environmentally friendly devices.

In late 2011, Apple upped the ante, publishing multiple patents for a hydrogen fuel cell to be used in portable computing devices. According to Apple, fuel cells, ‘can potentially enable continued operation of portable electronic devices for days or even weeks without refueling.’

Hydrogen fuel cells look to be the new frontier for portable computing. Verizon already has a hydrogen powered charging device on the market called the MINIPAK, which is a pocket-sized device that uses a refillable hydrogen cartridge to produce the energy equivalent of about 10 AA batteries. If you plan to try carrying 10 AA batteries in your pocket, expect to be walking with a noticeable limp.

The benefits of using hydrogen fuel cells over the current lithium-polymer batteries are pretty compelling. Hydrogen fuel cells are lighter, can hold longer lasting charges, and can potentially be powered entirely by carbon neutral fuel sources. The byproducts of a hydrogen fuel cell are electricity and water, making it far cleaner and easier to dispose of than traditional batteries.

English: Hydrogen engine.

Hydrogen engine (via Wikipedia)

Hydrogen does have its hurdles to overcome, however. Currently, fossil fuels are used to produce most of the hydrogen available on the market. While the hydrogen and oxygen that fuel cells require can be produced through electrolysis, the electrolysis process requires an electrical input in order to work. If that electricity is produced from fossil fuels, your fuel cell is no greener than any other device you already own.

Hydrogen is also difficult to store. In its gaseous state, hydrogen takes up a lot of space, so it is usually highly pressurized in order to reach effective densities. Liquid hydrogen can store even higher densities, but it requires constant cooling, which, for portable devices, seems unrealistic. In either case, you would be carrying a highly pressurized container of explosive fuel in your pocket. This may make boarding an airplane a tad difficult. There is a lot of research being done on ways to store hydrogen in a solid state, but these technologies are not yet market ready.

One of the most exciting prospects of Apple’s investigation of hydrogen power is that they might actually pull it off. Hydrogen fuel cells are on the precipice of becoming one of the most important technologies of our generation. With Apple’s research capabilities and vast funding, it’s possible to imagine that they will provide the push this technology needs to become a real competitor with traditional energy sources. Apple has already revolutionized the personal computing industry and the music industry; maybe they can do the same for energy.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/technology-looks-to-hydrogen-fuel-cells-6154840.html

About the Author

Velma Harvey lives in Californa, USA and has a passion for preserving the earth and green energy products.


Leave a comment

Japan’s nuclear radiation is leaking into our planet


4 Comments

Health Problems Caused By Air Pollution

(Photo: ChinaFotoPress / Zuma Press via The Wall Street Journal / Tumblr)

By: Charles Kassotis

In a world that is becoming increasingly industrialized, and in a world where more people can afford to drive cars, air pollution is becoming a larger problem. While there are those who would debate whether or not our air pollution is causing global warming, versus the earth’s natural warming process since the last Ice Age, that is not the issue. Definitive proof may or may not be found anytime soon. What is certain, however, is that there are confirmed problems caused by air pollution. These problems include respiratory problems and they also include problems regarding what we eat.

As the world moves more into the modern age, more pollutants are spewed into the air. Rising middle classes in large, formerly poor countries like China and India want the same privileges that we have of driving cars. Additionally, countries that entered the latter half of the 20th Century largely free of industry are now establishing it in order to jump into the 21st Century and bring their economies up to date. Many of these countries are understandably resentful of regulations that others try to foist on them because the already industrialized countries had their opportunity for unregulated and explosive industrial growth. And the increasing demands for cars, coupled with lowered restrictions on pollution output, in the U.S. continues to drive the air pollution machine. No matter where it comes from, however, air pollution causes health problems almost everywhere.

Respiratory problems are a very natural and scientifically established result of air pollution. While mild pollution is not awful for a healthy person in the prime of his or her life, polluting particles in the air can cause problems in children and in the elderly or the infirm. Additionally pollutants in the air can aggravate asthma symptoms and increase allergy symptoms. This can be annoying and dangerous to the health of some people.

But these respiratory problems are not all. Heavy air pollution can be damaging even to the most healthy of people. Mexico City, the largest city in the world, has major air pollution problems. It is said that just breathing the air each day is like smoking more than a pack of cigarettes. If the pollution is heavy enough, serious health problems, including cancer, can result from the toxins constantly breathed in through the air.

Another air pollution problem has to do with mercury. Mercury is a by product of many factories, and is present in the particles spewed from the tops of smokestacks. As the mercury gets into the earths atmospheric system, it mingles with rain, which then falls into water and is absorbed by fish. As larger fish (like tuna) prey on the smaller, they receive even higher amounts. Even though fish is generally healthy, there are some varieties that should be avoided. And it is recommended that no one eat more than two servings of fish per week. Pregnant women and children should eat no more than one serving of some fish and should avoid eating any of certain types of fish, as the mercury can cause defects and has been linked to developmental problems.

About the Author

To Find out more about pollution, and what can be done about it visit Learn more about our planet and how we interact with it at The Ecology Study

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/Health Problems Caused By Air Pollution


Leave a comment

Chinese environmentalist allegedly beaten after calling on official to swim in polluted creek

Image via Pinterest / telegraph.co.uk

Chinese environmentalist allegedly beaten after calling on official to swim in polluted creek www.telegraph.co….

Related articles


Leave a comment

“THE DEBATE IS OVER!”

This video is a few years old but still relevant today. Some folks seem to carve out a personal identity by parroting scientific studies that support their beliefs, all the while turning a blind eye to additional data that doesn’t. Well, science does a lot of good things. But it’s still a set of theories. It doesn’t explain everything, is usually riddled with experimenter bias, and is always subject to change.


Leave a comment

Are We Running Out of Clean Water?

English: A row of drinking water vending machi...

English: A row of drinking water vending machines in Pattaya, Thailand. A liter of water sold (in a customer’s own bottle) for 1 baht. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Thelma Oliver

Water is a life giving substance! We are confident that life as we know it cannot exist without the presence of clean water. We can live weeks without food but only days without water. Recent tests on the moon were designed to detect any presence of water, for eventual colonization would be impossible without it.

The earth is not short of water as such. The 326 million trillion gallons of water on earth divided by the current population, 5.8 billion, reveals that we have 56 billion gallons apiece. For sanitation, bathing, and cooking needs, the average person in the world has a daily requirement of about 13.2 gallons of water. That means the world contains enough water to last each of us over 11 million years (not counting population growth)! That doesn’t take into consideration the free recycling system provided for us called evaporation and condensation.

Of course, this is a little misleading for not all (or even most) of this water on earth is in a useable form. Ninety-eight percent of the water on the planet is ocean salt water. Of the 2% of the planet’s fresh water, 1.6% is locked up in the polar ice caps and glaciers. Another 0.36% is found underground in aquifers and wells. A mere trifle, just .036% of the planet’s total water supply, is found in fresh water lakes and rivers. This is still 392 million gallons each, but that isn’t much compared with the 56 billion gallons we could have. The sobering fact is that only about 0.007% of all water on earth (and less than 1% of the world’s fresh water) is accessible for direct human use.

Another problem is that the available useable water is not distributed evenly to the population. For example, the average American uses more water in one shower than most third world people use in a whole day. Nearly one billion people lack access to safe water. Nearly one billion people of the world lack access to safe water. That amounts to about one in eight people. Further, two and a half billion do not have access to improved sanitation, which means they are unable or don’t bother to separate drinking water from wastewater.

macro water drop

macro water drop: Hypergurl – Tanya Ann / Tanya Puntti

Major health issues throughout the world result from a lack of sanitary drinking water. One estimate is that half of all those in hospital beds at any one time are there because of a water related disease. As a result, a child dies from a water-related disease every 15-20 seconds in the world, usually from diarrhea. That adds up to a staggering 1.4 million children each year. The children in these environments often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies because of stagnant water supplies. In all, unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, or insufficient hygiene account for 88% of diarrhea cases worldwide.

Polluted water brings death, but also an increase in disease, crime, birth defects, and decreased ability to concentrate in school. In other words, it results in major economic decline. Investing in ways to purify water, or to desalinate the sea are investments that bring returns. On average, every US dollar invested in water and sanitation for a third world people provides an economic return for them of eight US dollars.

Some want the western civilization to feel guilty for taking a shower or watering their lawns. This is faulty thinking. Lowering our living standard only borrows their problems. America has sufficient good, clean water because we have learned how to preserve it and where to get it. Our response to criticism should not be guilt but better stewardship and an increased willingness to share our knowledge with others. When we are frugal and generous with our water, we will set a higher standard for other nations to follow.

Article Source: amazines.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,429 other followers