How Clean Is Your Air?

I attended a Lunch and Learn meeting in a neighboring town today about clean air and asthma. It was sponsored by Cool People Care, Clean Air Partnership of Middle Tennessee and the local chapter of the American Lung Association. As an environmentalist, I am very glad that I attended, as I learned many disturbing facts about our air, especially the air where I live.

Gail Bost, development director of the local chapter of the American Lung Association spoke and gave us some startling information.

I am an animal lover and have always had a pet, either fish, bird, dog, cat or rabbit. Dog dander stays in a room for six months after the dog leaves, and this includes regular vacuum cleaning. Cat dander hangs around for one year.

In the United States, over 20,000,000 people have asthma. Over 353,000 adults in my home state of Tennessee have asthma. That is one in every 13 persons, which is increasing in epidemic proportions.

St. Louis ranks #1 in American cities with dirty air. Tennessee has three cities in the top ten nationwide with Chattanooga at #4, Memphis at #6 and Knoxville at #7. My home Nashville comes in at #32 on the list. Dirty air, not only causes lung problems, but also increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Radon gas is a major problem in the Tennessee region. While radon is a naturally occuring element, it is the second greatest cause of lung cancer. I learned that I need to get the air in my house tested for radon.

While these statistics are somewhat frightening, we can all take steps to stay healthy. We can pay attention to the daily air quality rating in our city. This is usually publicized by radio, television, local newspapers or the internet. We can avoid using Plug-In air freshener, which contain carcinogens. Air fresheners just perfume the air and does not clean it.

Have fresh air blowing into your home on days when the air quality is good. Use public transportation or reduce automobile driving on bad air days. Walk or use bicycles for transportation.

NP NowPublic

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Thank you for telling people in Tennessee about radon. Radon-related lung cancer takes the lives of approximately 25,000 people each year, and this can easily be prevented. But first people have to acknowledge that it may be in their home and the only way to find out is to test for it. Testing is extremely simple and if the radon level is above 3 or 4, mitigation is not difficult.

    Gloria Linnertz
    VP, Cancer Survivors Against Radon
    http://www.canSAR.org

  2. 2

    Gloria is correct, radon affects so many people and dosn’t need to! a simple in home test will let you know if your in danger or not! if your levels are high, systems to take care of the problem don’t cost too much to put in! I think its sad that over 20K people a year are affected by this gas, and im going to guess that the numbers will just go up if people dont start testing their homes. more and more people are staying inside with the windows closed and doors locked, perfect time for gas to build up!

    radon tennessee


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