Category Archives: About Radon

what is radon? how was it discovered? how it effects your health? … and more

Pros & Cons of Various House Foundations

Slab, Crawlspace or Basement? When building a new home, which foundation is the best choice? I offer the pros & cons of the typical three choices.

Slab:

Pros:
– Least expensive to build
– No moisture/humidity to deal with under sub-floor
– Easy access for handicapped or senior persons, since very close to ground level

Cons:
– Hard surface, takes a toll on your body/joints
– Difficult to run additional wires/pipes
– HVAC typically located in the attic (unconditioned space)
– A leak in a water supply line in the slab is very expensive to fix
– Entrance at ground level, not as eye appealing
– High likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)
– More prone to wood destroying insect issues, since close to ground

Crawlspace:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– Easy access for repairs
– Less likely to have a radon issue (on ventilated crawlspaces)

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Cons:
– Moisture issues (water & humidity) are a major issues, creates fungus growth & rot
– Easy access for unwanted pests
– HVAC in unconditioned space

Basement:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Easy access for repairs
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– HVAC is located in conditioned space (more energy efficient)
– Additional storage/workshop
– Inexpensive additional square footage, can be finished at a later time
– Increased re-sale value of home & increased buyer appeal
– You can build on a sloping grade
– Provides shelter during extreme weather (tornado’s, hurricane’s, etc)

Cons:
– Most expensive to build (compared to a slab or crawlspace)
– Need a sloping lot to build a walkout basement
– Higher likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)

Mac has remodeled many old homes, been employed in several different construction trades & is a major do-it-yourselfer. He currently owns a home inspection company and has been inspecting homes for many years which is where my experience is most relevant to the proper way to build a home. To learn more about building your dream home, visit my website, http://www.house-building-tips.net

Author: Mac Barlow
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
How to choose a blood pressure monitor

Layman’s Guide to Cancer – Part 3 – Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

Cancer is a multifactorial disease, which means cancer develops due to a number of factors and not just a single factor. Vast research has been done and the understanding of the cancer has increased tremendously in the previous 3 to 4 decades regarding the various factors at play. But all of them have not been identified and still more research is needed for the same.

A term which is used quite often when talking about the cause of cancer is Risk factor. A risk factor is one which increases the probability of a person developing cancer. The person with a risk factor is at more risk of being affected by cancer when compared to a person without the risk factor. Avoidance or elimination of these risk factors can decrease the risk of a person developing cancer. risk factors can’t be avoided or eliminated totally in some cases. Even in cases where risk factors can’t be totally eliminated, minimization of exposure can decrease the risk of developing cancer.

Presence of a risk factors doesn’t mean the person will develop cancer. Many with risk factors don’t develop cancer at all.

Some of the common risk factors are

  • Old age – Old age is the most important risk factor for most of the cancers. Cancer occurs due to numerous changes in the DNA. These changes occur throughout one’s life. Changes to the DNA can occur during cell replication or due to damage to the DNA by environmental factors like sunlight, chemicals or infection by certain organisms. Cells of the body have built in mechanisms to repair these damages. But as a person grows old these repair mechanisms loose their efficiency and the changes accumulate in the cells. So the longer a person lives, more time for the changes to accumulate in the cells and turn cancerous. Hence cancers are common in older people. But people of all age groups can be affected by cancer including children.
  • Exposure to certain chemicals or substances called carcinogens – A carcinogen is a substance or chemical which facilitates the development of cancer in a person exposed to it. Carcinogens can be found at workplaces, in our surroundings and even in our diet also. Tobacco smoke is the most common carcinogen and has been implicated in a number of cancers. Not only people who directly use tobacco but also those who are indirectly exposed to tobacco smoke are also at an increased risk of developing cancer. Not all people exposed to carcinogens develop cancer. Not everybody who smokes develops cancer. This shows there are other factors at play and shows the multifactorial nature of cancer. A person can be exposed to carcionogens at work places, as mentioned above. For example exposure to asbestos, which has been implicated in more than 90% of Mesothelioma [http://www.mesotheliomahelpinfo.com] takes place primarily at work places. Carcinogens may be found in the diet also. When food products like meat are grilled or barbecued minute quantities of carcinogens are formed which are similar to those in tobacco smoke. Some of the additives added to commercially food products may have carcinogenic potential.
  • Genetic predisposition – Sometimes some individuals can inherit certain genetic mutations from their parents. These persons who inherit mutations are at an increased risk of developing cancer. Though the risk is more when compared to a person who hasn’t inherited the mutation, it doesn’t mean all the people who inherited a mutated gene will develop cancer. With a mutation from the start the chances of the person developing a cancer are slightly raised statistically. This is called genetic predisposition. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are good examples of genetic predisposition. Women who inherit these genes have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who do not. Another finding of interest is the fact that most women with breast cancer do not have mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Less than 5% of the women with breast cancer have these genes. This shows that there are other factors at work for the development of breast cancer.
  • Exposure to sunlight – Ultraviolet rays emitted from sun have been implicated in the development of skin cancer. Tanning booths which are becoming quite popular are also a source of ultraviolet rays and excessive usage of tanning booths can lead to skin cancer. Protection from sunlight using proper clothing, sunscreen and avoidance of tanning booths can greatly reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Exposure to radiation – Exposure to radiation like x-rays and gamma rays can damage the genes making the cells cancerous. Radiation injury is mainly implicated in leukemia’s. Radiation is commonly used in medical field for diagnosis and treatment. The dose of radiation used in diagnostic procedures like x-ray and CT scanning are minimal and the risk associated with these procedures is very minute. But persons handling these kinds of instruments on a regular basis like technicians are to be extra careful and wear the protective clothing.
    Radiation is also used for the treatment of cancers. This form of treatment, called radiotherapy uses an higher dose of radiation than used for diagnostic procedures. Radiotherapy is associated with a much higher risk than diagnostic procedures like x-ray. It is better to consult your doctor, if you are advised to take radiotherapy, regarding the possible side effects. Most of the times the benefits outweigh the side effects. People living in the vicinity of a nuclear plant or places where atomic bombs are manufactured, tested and used are also at risk of radiation injury. The classic example is people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. People living in these cities continue to experience the effects of radiation injury. Another source of radiation injury is radon gas, which is radioactive. People working in mines are especially at risk of exposure to radon gas. People exposed to radon gas are more prone for lung cancer. Check out cancer causes and risk factors to know more about the cancer risk factors.

Dr. Pradeep Balu is a Doctor. He has completed MBBS and he runs the website [http://www.onlinecancersupport.com] to provide information to patients suffering from cancer.

Author: Dr. Pradeep Balu
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon and Lung Cancer – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You When Buying a Home

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the United States. As a Certified Property Inspector and Radon tester, I am seeing that most new home buyers are unaware of the dangers of Radon. As a result of this lack of information, most home buyers as well as current homeowners are not having their homes tested for Radon. In many cases, my clients have also been misinformed by real estate representatives or the media regarding both the prevalence and lung cancer dangers of radon. Radon testing if done by the homeowner, is inexpensive, and takes only 48 hours.

Here are some important facts about Radon that homeowners and renters should know to protect the health of your family. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Visit cheec.uiowa.edu/misc/radon.html for more on a study by Dr. William Field on radon-related lung cancer in women.

Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. The type of construction, foundation or location does not prevent a Radon problem. Its presence in a home can pose a danger to a familys health. The only way to determine if a home has a Radon problem is to have an EPA standardized test done. This test can be completed by the homeowner or a certified professional.

The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend that all homes be tested for radon. All homes can be fixed if there is a radon problem found. The average cost of a radon fix for a home is about $1,200. Some home improvement stores sell inexpensive test kits for about $35 (which includes an EPA certified lab report). However, Consumer Reports recently found that those test kits were not very accurate. Therefore, if you want to do your own testing contact your state radon office for a better quality inexpensive test kit.

If the homeowner or buyer/seller does not or cannot to do the Radon testing (some states require a professional complete the test during a real estate transaction), visit the National Environmental Health Association Radon Certification website at: radongas.org/radon_measurement_service.shtml This site has properly certified radon testers as myself listed by the cities in your state.

The untimely deaths of Peter Jennings and Dana Reeve have raised public awareness about lung cancer, especially among people who have never smoked. Smoking, radon, and secondhand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented; this is especially true for radon.

EPA has designated January as National Radon Action Month, a time when state radon programs and other partners conduct special radon outreach activities and events across the country. The aim of National Radon Action Month is to increase the public’s awareness of radon, promote radon testing and mitigation, and advance the use of radon-resistant new construction practices.

For more information on Radon and home inspections or to contact the author, please visit: http://www.gpinspect.com

Steve Zivolich, is an ASHI Certified Inspector and owner of Guaranteed Property Inspection and Mold Investigation in Southern California. He is also certified in: Radon, Mold, Energy Efficiency and Asbestos testing and investigations.

Author: Steve Zivolich
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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FSBOs -The Secret of ‘After Settlement Escrow’ to Solve Problems

Most FSBOs (people who are selling their own homes) are aware of the conventional use of escrow. In this article, we look at ways to use escrow to solve problems.

Escrow

Escrow means different things in different parts of the country. In California it’s part and parcel of the settlement process. In Virginia, while there’s no formal escrow before settlement, the settlement agent gathers title information, draws or has a deed drawn, coordinates with the lender, receives various inspection reports and in general conducts an informal escrow in the days before settlement. The difference is that, in Virginia, usually documents aren’t signed by the parties until they meet at the settlement table. It’s the use of escrow after this period that we’re concerned with here.

A Problem Rears Its Head

What’s possible varies from state to state, but creating an escrow account (usually held by the settlement agent) after a home is sold can solve problems. What sorts of problems? Let’s look at a few.

First of all, let’s assume the buyer or seller needs, or wants, to settle by a certain date. Lots of things can cause this including the date school starts, the date a breadwinner starts a new job or the date of settlement on the seller’s new home.

Now, let’s suppose a problem crops up which would prevent that settlement deadline from being met. Such problems might be caused by the discovery of termites and termite damage, the discovery of encroachment on a utility right of way by a garden shed on the property being sold or the discovery of high levels of radon gas within the home.

Let’s further suppose that the buyer and seller have agreed on the basic solution of the problem. In the above examples, typical solutions might be that the seller will have the home treated for termites and have a licensed contractor repair the damage. Or the seller will have a contractor move the shed out of the right of way. Or the seller will install a radon mitigation system. Of course, everything is negotiable, and a buyer who wants a property badly enough could agree to fix the defects himself.

What if the pest control company, contractor or the radon mitigation company can’t finish their work until after the planned settlement date? What happens then? Most frequently, settlement is delayed until these sorts of things are taken care of, but sometimes that isn’t desirable. Sometimes delay of settlement can be a deal killer.

Problem Solving 101

Enter the “after settlement escrow.” The parties agree that an amount of money (usually a bit larger than the estimate) is set aside in escrow pending completion of the work. The escrow agent has clear (usually written) instructions about what must be done before the money is released to the person who put it up (or before the work is paid for and any excess returned to the person who put it up).

The funding of an after settlement escrow usually comes from the proceeds of the sale, so it can be used where there are no funds to take corrective action any other way. Even if the person responsible could get a loan for the purpose, the process could take too long to meet the settlement deadline. In that way, it can be a “cash flow” solution, too.

No matter what problem you encounter, it’s usually possible for a willing seller and a willing buyer to work things out. Remember that all sorts of needs can be accommodated without anyone’s being a loser. Situations in which both buyer and seller are winners happen frequently. With any luck, that’s what will happen in your case. It just takes creativity and persistence.

Raynor James is with http://www.fsboamerica.org – providing FSBO homes for sale by owner. Visit our “sell my home” page at http://www.fsboamerica.org/seller.cfm to list and sell your home for free for one month. Visit http://www.fsboamerica.org/buyer.cfm to see homes for sale by owner.

Author: Raynor James
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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How Much Does Your Home Inspector Charge?

We are in tough economic times and people are looking for ways to stretch their dollars and make every dollar count. Home buyers, like everybody else, are looking for a deal. And this entire real estate market is in a major slump right now, which only makes things worse. One third of the agents and one third of the home inspectors across this country have gone out of business and moved on to other lines of work in this last year. In an effort to save a few dollars, many people are forgoing their home inspection and buying a home outright… with no inspection at all.

For a few months now I have been debating with myself whether I should even write on this topic. All you have to do is Google your nearest large city and the words “home inspector” and you can quickly compare the home inspectors in your area. The vast majority of them do not advertise their prices. Why? They force you to call them, knowing you will ask what they charge… then they have a prepared sales pitch that is designed to convince the caller to hire them. They all have a “base price” that is real cheap, in order to spark the caller’s attention. Then, they ask a series of questions such as square footage, year built, and several other things which help them gather important information, but also gets the caller to respond over and over… and places the inspector in the proverbial driver’s seat. The caller is unconsciously committing to the sales pitch, one step at a time. Then, after they add in the extra cost for distance, square footage, age, and other things… they tell the caller their real fee. Problem is… the caller already decided to hire this guy based on his “base price”. The real price is often much higher.

My point here is that you need to shop around, and do not get tricked into hiring an inspector based upon a well designed and executed sales trick. There are some inspectors out there who advertise their rates right on their web sites. They have nothing to hide from you and I recommend you give these inspectors more serious consideration. It is clear they are not trying to hook customers with a sales pitch, and they are not trying to hide anything.

Next, I recommend comparing a few inspectors and see what you are really getting for your money. Most of them have a basic inspection… but then allow you choices based upon your individual needs or desires. Some will offer mold inspections, termite inspections, radon inspections, infrared thermography, and a host of other details, but usually at an additional price for each level of enhancement. Also, take a good look at how long will they really be inside your prospective new home. The vast majority of home inspectors across this country will complete your inspection in about 2 hours. 2-3 hours is the industry norm. Many inspectors will actually do the inspection in 3 hours. A few inspectors take as long as 4 hours. Ask yourself… why is this? Here is the single overriding reason why: MONEY. This allows them to “inspect” at least 2 houses per day. Many inspectors can make between $600 and $1,200 per day when times are good and the market is moving.

What do most Home Inspectors charge? This varies a great deal based on the market and also based on geography. In some areas, home inspectors charge $800 or more per inspection. However, in most areas of the country the average seems to be around $200-$300. Unfortunately, because of the housing market slump of this last year, and also the economic condition in general, there are lots and lots of “inspectors” out there who are charging as little as $99 per home inspection. These jokers are doing three homes per day when they can, so they can still make a tidy income. That will get you a one hour inspection, if you’re lucky. Unfortunately, a lot of home buyers will hire these guys in an effort to save a few hundred dollars. I challenge you this: Go into your crawlspace. Inspect every square foot of the soil, footings, piers, posts, stem walls, and the floor above. Go all the way from corner to every corner. Make notes, take photos, take moisture samples, and deal with the spiders and the dead mice. See how long it takes you to do this. And then ask yourself if you are still willing to hire an inspector that will look at your house in less than three hours. On average, I spend around two hours of every inspection just in the crawlspace. All my inspections take over 5 hours… and my average is around 7 hours. Day before yesterday I inspected a 2,100 square foot house (built in 1991) and it took me nearly nine hours. Why is this? I am thorough. I care about my clients. I inspect every home as though it were being purchased by my daughter. I am not trying to do two homes per day just to maximize income. Never have done two in a day, and I never will. Too easy to confuse the details, or forget some details when writing the reports.

Look real closely at what you are getting. Also, ask this of yourself… “This inspector charges $xyz”. “Am I getting a good value at this cost?”. Realize this: What your inspector charges is a reflection of what your inspector feels his services are worth.

In the counties I serve, most homes sell between $150,000 and $300,000. The average tends to run around $200,000. Most home inspectors charge around $250… of course, some are higher and some are much lower. This means that for an average $250 inspection, the buyer would be paying 0.125% of the price of their home for a professional home inspection. That is, just under one eighth of one percent! Now, let’s put that $250 inspection fee into perspective:

o Cost to replace one natural gas-fired water heater: $700
o Cost to replace one toilet: $450
o Cost to upgrade a substandard electric service entrance and panel: $1,500
o Cost to replace a garbage disposal: $350
o Cost to install a new asphalt shingle roof: $3,500
o Cost to replace an air conditioning unit: $1,200
o Cost to replace five floor joists in crawl space damaged by termites: $1,250
o Cost to replace 8 feet of damaged sill plate: $1,500
o Cost to repair a foundation that has been damaged by tree roots: $8,200

The part that gets me is that many people do not think twice about paying an auto repair shop $80 per hour to fix their car. Yet thousands of people will spend hours “shopping’ for a home inspector who gives them the lowest price. The auto mechanic simply fixes the car. While important, yes… consider that against what is likely the most expensive and longest term investment of your entire life: your house. A good home inspector can identify issues before you purchase… often allowing you to reduce the cost of your purchase by thousands of dollars. A good inspector can even help prevent you from making a colossal mistake by purchasing a house that will end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars. A good inspector allows you to go into this investment with your eyes wide open… giving you a real good idea of things that will need repaired or replaced in the near future. A good inspector will also provide (in their report) valuable home maintenance tips and will also include ideas for reducing your energy consumption. Additionally, it never ceases to amaze me why some people will hire my competitor because he charges $100 less than I do. He will also do the inspection in 2 or 3 hours (I take 6 or more). He will also not test for Radon, not inspect for wood destroying insects, not test for mold, and not use infrared thermography (I do all these things). http://www.oxbowinspections.com/difference.php

This is one of the reasons I advertise my fees on my web site for all to see. I cannot compete for those clients who are price shoppers, because I do a complete and thorough inspection. The price shopper will see my fees and call my competitor instead. I think I have only had 4 or 5 phone calls in the last two years where I was asked how much I charged. This allows me to focus on my inspection at hand, rather than becoming a slave to my phone… trying to lure in every caller with a sales pitch in the hopes of hooking my next inspection. The clients who choose me do so because they want someone who is up front and honest about everything, including my prices. They want someone who will spend 2 or more hours in their crawlspace… not 2 hours on the whole inspection. They want someone who will check every outlet… not just a “representative sample”. They want someone who will check for mold, termites, anobiid beetles, radon, carpenter bees and ants, and hidden things that can only be seen through infrared thermography… in addition to the things normally checked by home inspectors.

Don’t get me wrong… there is a use for and a need for the “bargain” version of home inspectors. Some home buyers actually should seek out these types. But, if you are simply looking to save a few dollars (that 1/10th of 1% of the cost) then I submit that you just might not be able to afford that particular home. In other words… if you can’t pay $350 for an inspection on a $300,000 house, but you are willing to pay $250 for the inspection… what are you gaining (or losing) by saving that $100? Saving $100 on an inspection for a $300,000 house is like saving $4 on a new Chevrolet. That’s just silly. My point is… why would one even try to save a few tenths of one percent on such an important and expensive investment? Ask your inspector if he offers discounts. Some do. I give 10% off to all Firemen, First Responders, Police, and Veterans. Ask your inspector if he offers payment options. Virtually all inspectors demand payment in full at the completion of the inspection. I do not. I allow a variety of payment options, to include payment at closing, so you can actually roll the cost of your inspection into the loan for the house, and then let your loan company send me the payment. This option adds less than $1 per month to your mortgage payments.

I am not averse to turning down business from prospective clients who are looking for the lowest cost inspector. As an experienced professional, I know the value of my work. I do not claim to be the “best”, nor do I claim to be the most thorough. In my humble opinion, people who believe they have no equal are most often very wrong. However, at the end of each day I go home and ask myself: “did you give 100 percent and did you give a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage?”. I was raised with a stern hand and was instilled with a deep sense of fairness. I believe that people deserve their money’s worth from the home they are buying, and from their inspection service.

Dappy Jones
OxBow Home Inspections and Radon Testing

Dappy is the owner/inspector of OxBow Home Inspections. OxBow is the premier hi-tech home inspection service in southwestern Idaho. Learn more about the author at http://www.oxbowinspections.com/aboutus.php Dappy is a retired engineer (United States Navy|A different kind of home inspector. He goes places where other inspectors won’t.

Author: Dappy Jones
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Basement Bar – Prepare Your Space First Pt 2 – Air Quality

Air quality changes as soon as you waterproof your basement. You might ask yourself: “how in the world does that change your air quality?”

Air travels through the pores in your concrete by natural earth air flow; through lose soil. It comes into your basement pulling radon, mold spores, and evaporated exterior water molecules. By installing a vapor barrier along your foundation wall that ties into the interior drain system, you redirect the moisture and other nasty business into the drain below the floor and it’s then dealt with by the sump pump. Radon might need further remediation, but that can be done with a closed interior drain system like the GrateDrain. Radon remediation kits can be ducted into the GrateDrain, thus increasing the reach of the remediation method and still taking care of the moisture control.

Now that you have your vapor barrier in place you’re now dealing with the air quality in your house. You’re no longer constantly pulling air through your foundation bringing with it excess moisture. Your AC will now run smoother and more effectively, even low efficiency dehumidifiers will work better because there’s a correctable amount of moisture that is now in the air.

Now you’ve taken care of any moisture issues, you’re able to heat and cool the area better, dehumidify the area quicker and more effectively, and you’ll be protecting the investment in your new shinny bar in your basement.

Just another note: if and when you do decide to finish your basement or do any major project in the basement it’s important to first deal with a basement finishing company. The products they use are produced and designed to be used below grade in areas that can be susceptible to higher humidity levels.

Jacob Lee- Pioneer Home Basement Finishing
http://www.homebasementfinishing.com

Author: Jacob Ewing Lee
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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How to Choose the Best Water Purification Systems For Home Use

Choosing the best water purification systems for home use can be a daunting task. There is so much to know! What types of contaminants are distillers best suited for? Why is reverse osmosis not the best for water that has a lot of trace minerals in it? Figuring out what the right system is can sometimes feel like getting a master’s degree in public health! Well, continue reading, because hopefully this article will straighten out some of these questions and make choosing the right water filter easier, if not easy!

The first thing you need to do when you’re thinking about getting a water filter or purifier for home use is understand the type of contaminants you have. There are basically two classes of contaminants, living and non-living. Now, it’s not quite that simple, but that will get us started. Living contaminants consist of bacteria, viruses, and larger microorganisms. Non-living…well, that’s everything else.

If your water comes from a well, then you may have an issue with living contaminants. Carbon filters, especially when combined with ceramic filters work well here. So do ultraviolet light filters. Distillers and reverse osmosis systems would also work well. You can have living impurities in your water even if you’re getting it from a public system that’s supposedly been treated.

Even if your city’s or municipality’s water purification systems have chlorinated the water, you can still have a problem with larger microorganisms, like protozoans and cysts. You especially need to be aware of this if your city’s water comes from surface water (drawn from a river or lake).

How are you going to know if you have these types of contaminants? Well, you can test your own water. You can buy good tests from companies on the Internet for a few hundred dollars that can test for everything! If you’re getting public water, then you can write the water company and request a copy of their mandatory tests. They have to give you a copy–it’s the law.

Okay, that takes are of living impurities, what about non-living? Well, that’s a broad spectrum of contaminant, most of which water treatment systems are just not able to deal with. If you’re getting well water, then this could be contaminants like industrial chemicals that entered the aquifer from somewhere else, agricultural run-off, naturally occurring radon, or other naturally occurring trace minerals like asbestos. Water purification systems like ultraviolet filters are going to do nothing for you, here.

Again, if your water comes from public water, then you potentially have an even bigger problem. Researchers have found everything in our water from pesticides to prescription drugs, not to mention lead, heavy metals, asbestos, just to mention a few contaminants. Carbon and ceramic filters work well here, as long as you maintain the filter properly (easy to do!). Water purification systems like distillers would work well, except your water is almost surely chlorinated, and most distillers should not be used for chlorinated water. (Some can, but they have to have a pre-filter to get the chlorine and other volatile chemicals out.)

Buying the right one of the many water purification systems can be a time consuming, confusing process. Hopefully, I’ve given you some pointers here that can help. It’s worth the effort, though! Your future health may depend on it.

To learn more about home water purifiers, visit my website!

R. Lee Cole is an avid health and exercise enthusiast who loves to make his research available to everyone via the Internet. Check out Lee’s website for more information about this important topic.

Author: R. Lee Cole
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
White Coat Hypertension

Strategies to Sell Your House Yourself – Pay Close Attention to Experts & Ignore Them at Your Peril!

When you are trying to sell your house yourself, you may have dispensed the services of an agent, but you should heed the advice given by other professionals. Prior to putting your home on the market, you will need the services of a professional inspector. Get your inspector to thoroughly examine your home and pick up valuable tips that could mean the difference between success and failure.

One of the major things to be aware of when selling your house yourself is the property’s electrical wiring. The last thing you want is for all your sale profits to go towards the cost of a lawyer because faulty wiring caused serious damage to your home.

All experts will mention the radon test to you. If your home has high levels of radon, this can be easily fixed. Plus this is a huge plus point for potential buyers. For the most accurate results, you should have a thorough radon test and then do a retest afterward. Mention this to buyers when they visit.


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Author: Sam Renstaff
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon And Real Estate – Know The Facts And Fear Not

Concerned about buying or selling a home with Radon? You’ll find no need to worry if you educate yourself with the facts. Radon is found all over the United States, and one home can show a reading while the house next door shows nothing. From a real estate perspective, buyers can consider it a plus if a mitigation system is already in place, because that means the house has been tested, and fixed, and there’s no mystery. On the flip side, sellers can confidently let potential buyers see the radon results of a house, along with any mitigation, in a positive light, because information is more honorable than ignorance. I figure the good karma alone would pay off…

Radon is a radioactive gas found in soil and rock, formed by the decay of uranium, which is a natural process. Radon gas is invisible, with no odor or taste. Statistics say that radon hasn’t been shown to negatively affect home sales, but after my own experience of having the option to buy a house with radon, I wondered if that statistic was really true. I didn’t want to buy a “cancer-causing radon house” but that was a very uneducated and closed end thought. Ironically, I was ready and willing to buy a house that didn’t even mention radon at all. Of course, it had to finally occur to me, “What if this other house has radon too, and it’s just never been tested?”

In retrospect, our situation made me think that the psychology of not mentioning it at all could be pretty slick, and affective, but only initially. The truth is, there are still many people who – innocently – don’t consider it an important part of buying or selling a home; it simply doesn’t occur to them. There are many who even consider radon a scam entirely. However, out of respect and consideration for the market, it would probably be wise to have test results on hand.

Would you rather know, or choose ignorance? I’d rather know, particularly if a house had a high level that needed to be addressed with mitigation. An extremely high level, like 20 pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter) might spook me a little, but my chances of getting lung cancer even then (without mitigation) would only be 36 out of 1000, and that’s IF I were exposed over a lifetime. Statistics say that a level of 20 pCi/L would cause lung cancer to 260 out of 1000 people if they were exposed to that level for a lifetime AND they also smoked cigarettes. So obviously the level is hugely reduced for non-smokers, but we all know that smoking is its own risk anyway.

Human nature doesn’t typically want to think about risks and our emotional interpretation of them with numbers, charts and comparisons. Any one of us could still get hit by a bus tomorrow, right? Still, information offers wisdom, and to make a decision as a home buyer, you should take a look at the numbers with a mitigation system in place so you can at least see that there’s no need for extensive fear.

Mitigation systems can reduce whatever level of radon that is present down to 2 to 4 pCi/L. Because of the very definition of radon, the EPA can’t say that they consider any level safe, but they do say that 2 to 4 pCi/L is acceptable, with minimal risks. If mitigation lowers radon to an acceptable level, the EPA says your chances of getting lung cancer are only about 5 in 1000. With lower numbers like that, one realizes that walking or living in pollution over a lifetime could just as easily have ramifications too, like a dozen or more other factors. Okay, so, “Warning: being alive will kill you one day.” No big surprise there.

It’s nothing to make fun of, but very low levels of radon need not be perceived as alarms that make home buyers run for the hills. Humans have been living with varying amounts of radon in the earth and air for a long time, completely oblivious to it for the most part. It fluctuates with warm and cold, damp and dry conditions, and furthermore, there are worse things in the world that can be just as hazardous to our health, if not more so. Don’t become phobic, but stop and think about the chemistry, biology and toxins all over our environments; some of our cleaning products, molds, pesticides, pets, and even food choices… Heaven help us if we over-analyze “indoor pollution” and “what’s in that dust?”

Here are some things to consider, just to make sure you’re informed and have no unnecessary fears or misconceptions.

How long might you live in the house? Some people buy a house to live in for a lifetime while others know that they will want to take it up a notch in 5 or so years. Radon’s health risks are charted to show how a person’s health would be affected over a lifetime of exposure; this is probably equivalent to 20 years or more. The risk for only 5 to 10 years of exposure would likely show lower risks than the EPA’s “over a lifetime” chart.

According to the EPA, the average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L. If you buy a home that hasn’t been tested at all, consider that this average exists.

Yes, radon is a hazard, but it can be fixed. Have confidence in mitigation systems, and if you have any doubt, contact the National Radon Hotline at 1-800-SOS RADON to ask if there are mitigation professionals in your area that can check the system. If they can’t tell you, they can at least give you the number to your state’s radon office so you can find out about trained mitigation contractors in your area.

Study the Environmental Protection Agency’s website (www.epa.gov) to find many consumer resources, including information about radon and health, and how various mitigation systems work.

If you’re in love with a house that you want to buy, don’t hesitate to ask the seller to test for radon, even though it may take some extra time. If the score shows radon above the “acceptable” level, know that mitigation can either be requested as a contingency in your offer, or you can try to get a fair reduction on the price of the house to accommodate your cost of adding mitigation.

Suggestion to sellers: test your house and make sure you’re ready to show test results if a prospective buyer asks about radon. If needed at all, you can either have mitigation installed in order to offer a safer home for sale, or be prepared to lower your asking price accordingly. (Not by much, roughly $500 to $2000). There’s a very good chance that a buyer will appreciate the knowledge or action taken pre-sale. Only the uneducated will shy away, so it would be helpful to have a few informative brochures readily available.

Simply put, houses with radon can be fixed, and doing so doesn’t cost an arm and a leg – no more than a medium to low-cost home repair. Fear not. If you want to buy a house because it feels like home, and the deal is ripe and full of potential, don’t miss out on it due to uninformed (or misinformed) fears about radon. Refer to http://www.radon.com or the EPA’s website to find out more about test kits and contacting your state’s radon office; be educated, so you can make a smart decision on buying, or take responsible, if not considerate, action as a seller.

Author: Angela Cravens
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Common Causes of Lung Cancer

There are a few factors that lead to lung cancer. Some of the most common reasons are:

1. Cigarette smoking: It is a very common factor. There are people who are addicted to cigarette smoking and some even smoke two packs or more per day. Out of every seven people, at least one person would develop lung cancer. Folks who smoke about one pack of cigarettes per day are prone to this threat 25 times more than non-smokers. People who casually smoke are also not free from this, as they could also develop lung cancer.
Smoking damages the cells. The moment you quit smoking the damaged cells start repairing themselves and become healthy cells. So, it is advised to give up smoking altogether.

2. Secondhand smoking: it is also known as passive smoking because you tend to inhale smoke without actually holding a cigar or a pipe between your lips. The people who are exposed to this kind of smoking have 24% chances of developing lung cancer. About 3000 deaths are estimated in a year due to secondhand smoking.

Asbestos Exposure: Asbestos causes lung cancer and mesothelioma known as the cancer in the linings of the pleural sheet. It separates the silica fibers that are trapped in the tissues of the lungs. If you have been a smoker or if you smoke even now, then the possibility of contracting this disease is high. The risk is about 50 to 90 percent more than non-smokers.

Radon Gas: radon is a gas that is colorless and odorless that is released from decayed uranium. As per the analysis done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, almost 15% of the homes are exposed to radon and every year about 15,000 to 22,000 deaths occur.

Air pollution: if you inhale polluted air for a long period of time then you are most likely to develop cancer. About 1% of the total lung cancer deaths are due to this problem.

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Author: Paul Cris
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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