October is Healthy Lung Month, and this is a great opportunity to discuss a few household toxins that could negatively affect lung health. Three such substances are carbon monoxide, asbestos, and radon. As they are commonly found inside homes, is very important to know how they can affect your health, and what you can do to mitigate your risk.
Carbon monoxide is a gas which travels from your lungs to your bloodstream where it attaches to the hemoglobin molecules which transport oxygen throughout the body. Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous because it is odorless, and tasteless, so it can easily go undetected. Exposure can cause chest pain, nausea, and shortness of breath. If it is untreated, the individual could lose consciousness and potentially suffocate. The best way to avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide is to install a carbon monoxide detector.
Asbestos is a fibrous material used in commercial and industrial buildings. It was often used for insulation and fireproofing in the past. Asbestos is a known cause of mesothelioma cancer, which is an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the lining of abdomen and lungs. Symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pain, weight loss, and anemia. If you believe there is asbestos in your home, it is important to have it removed by professionals! Asbestos is the most dangerous when it has been disrupted, so do not try to handle removal on your own.
Radon is a radioactive gas that is released from elements in the rocks and soil. It is also tasteless, odorless, and can not be seen. Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer. Those who spend a lot of time in poorly ventilated places are at the highest risk. You can have your home’s radon level tested. If the radon levels are too high, active soil depressurization is one of the best solutions. This technique will collect the radon from beneath the home, before it is able to enter.
Radon, carbon monoxide, and asbestos can be very detrimental to the health of your lungs. Now that you know the danger they can pose, it is imperative that you take the necessary precautionary steps to protect yourself and your home. Whether it be purchasing a carbon monoxide detector, or having your home’s radon levels tested, do your lungs a favor for Healthy Lung Month!
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