Monday, September 14, 2015

"What’s going to kill us in 2050? Air pollution — and lots of it"

What's going to kill us in 2050? Air pollution --- and lots of if"

Snapshot from article:

Here is the main summary:
"On Wednesday, the OECD released its “Environmental Outlook to 2050,”which contained a few spots of cheery news. Humanity is making steady progress against malaria. Worldwide, the number of deaths from the disease are expected to fall by half by 2050. And fewer people will die from unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation in the future. But the number of deaths caused by air pollution — which includes ground-level ozone, particulate matter, and “indoor pollution” — are expected to skyrocket, killing more than 6 million people per year by mid-century."

This article mentioned something that I had not heard from before "Indoor Pollution." This is what they explained as Indoor Pollution: "The OECD lists “indoor pollution” as a major cause of death in the developing world, a category that includes black carbon soot from biomass-burning cookstoves. This is fixable: Cleaner cookstoves that run on solar power or burn fuel cleanly already exist. Indeed, it’s such a no-brainer notion that even Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has co-sponsored a billin the U.S. Senate to aid black-carbon reduction projects abroad."

Another area I was looking into is the pollution that we did not create: Radon. recently my family moved homes and the first thing we did was check the radon levels before purchasing the home, luckily the test came back at a "1" which is outstandingly low and very good! They say anything over 4 is getting lofty when it comes to this radioactive gas. However, my cousin recently purchase a new home on the lake, after a couple months after he purchased the home, he did the radon test which came back at a "13" which is extremely hazardous to your health. Here is a little about what Radon is: "Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It forms naturally from the decay of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found at different levels in soil and rock throughout the world. Radon gas in the soil and rock can move into the air and into ground water and surface water.
Radon is present outdoors and indoors. It is normally found at very low levels in outdoor air and in drinking water from rivers and lakes. It can be found at higher levels in the air in houses and other buildings, as well as in water from underground sources, such as well water.
Radon breaks down (decays) into solid radioactive elements called radon progeny (such as polonium-218, polonium-214, and lead-214). Radon progeny can attach to dust and other particles and can be breathed into the lungs. As radon and radon progeny in the air break down, they give off alpha particles, a form of high-energy radiation that can damage the DNA inside the body's cells."
Here is a bit more about what it can do to your body: "Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer. Radon gas in the air breaks down to other radioactive elements (radon progeny). Radon progeny are tiny radioactive particles that can lodge in the lining of the lungs, where they continue to break down into other radioactive elements by releasing radiation. The radiation released in this “radioactive decay” process can damage lung cells and eventually lead to lung cancer.
Cigarette smoking is by far the most common cause of lung cancer in the United States, but radon is the second leading cause. Scientists estimate that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year are related to radon.
Exposure to the combination of radon gas and cigarette smoke creates a greater risk for lung cancer than either factor alone. Most radon-related lung cancers occur among smokers. However, radon is also thought to cause a significant number of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers in the United States each year.
Some studies have suggested that radon exposure may be linked to other types of cancer as well. But the evidence for such links has been inconsistent and not nearly as strong as it is for lung cancer. Because radon and its progeny are absorbed mainly by inhaling, and because the alpha particles they give off travel only a short distance, it is unlikely they would affect other tissues in the body.
The evidence that radon causes lung cancer comes from studies in people and studies done in the lab."

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Just keeping things on the up and up since this is for my students to communicate first.