Jan. 25, 2018 - The National Hurricane Center posted its hurricane "Harvey" summary Thu., 01/25. The hurricane "Irma" summary will likely follow within a few weeks. Meanwhile a Florida Select Committee has written & released a list of recommendations to Governor Scott - per his request - following hurricanes Hermine, Matthew & Irma - go here.
January is "Radon Action Month".... from the National Environmental Education Fund (NEEF):
January is National Radon Action Month(link is external). What is radon? Radon is a radioactive gas produced when uranium in soil decays; it can be found all over the United States. Radon gas moves up through the ground into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation, becoming trapped inside. The EPA estimates that about one out of every 15 homes has elevated radon levels. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, but it can be harmful—it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States among the population as a whole, and the primary cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Winter is a good time to test your home for radon. When windows and doors are sealed tightly, radon levels inside your home can rise. Testing(link is external) is easy, inexpensive and only takes a few minutes. If you find high levels of radon in your home, the problem can be fixed! Some radon reduction systems can reduce levels in your home by up to 99%.
- Find state-specific resources for radon
- A Citizen's Guide to Radon
- Radon-Resistant New Construction for home-buyers
- Healthy Indoor Air Quality in a Changing Climate
- US Environmental Protection Agency. 2012. "A Citizen's Guide to Radon." Accessed January 18, 2016.
- US Environmental Protection Agency. 2017. "Health Risk of Radon." Accessed January 16.
- Stay warm, burn wisely (NEEF)
Brrr! When the temperature goes down outside, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves can take away the chill inside. Smoke from a crackling fire may smell good, but it can impact air quality in your home and your health. Smoke is a mixture of tiny particles and gases produced when wood burns—the fine particles can get into your eyes and lungs, where they may aggravate some health conditions like lung disease, bronchitis, and asthma.
Use these best burn practices from EPA at home to minimize wood smoke, stay warm, and protect your health:
- Before you burn, make sure your chimney is clean. A clean chimney provides a good draft and reduces the risk of a chimney fire. Have your chimney inspected by a professional at least once per year and regularly clean ashes from your fireplace or wood-burning stove to increase efficiency.
- Only use seasoned wood for burning. Seasoned wood looks darker, has cracks in the ends, and sounds hollow if smacked against another piece of wood.
- Use newspaper and dry kindling to start a fire. Never use gasoline, kerosene, charcoal starter, or propane.
- Build hot fires, which are more safe and efficient than smoldering fires.
- Never burn garbage or cardboard, coated or painted wood, particle board, plywood, or wood with glue on it. Burning these materials can release harmful chemicals into the air inside your home.
If you burn wood at home—even occasionally—install a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector to keep you and your family safe. If you already have detectors, check the batteries to make sure they are working properly.
- US EPA. 2016. "Burn Wise: Consumers – Best Burn Practices." Accessed January 31, 2017.
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