Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. It can get into any type of building—homes, offices, and schools—and result in a high indoor radon level. You and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time
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The Health Department may be able to provide you with a simple air sampling device to test if your house has excessive levels of Radon. Contact the Environmental Health division to inquire.
Individuals who are exposed to asbestos from working in factories, shipyards, mining operations, and other industries have greater risks for breathing high levels of asbestos fibers then others. This can lead to increased risk of:
-mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity; and
-asbestosis, a condition in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.
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When mold spores land on a wet or damp area and begin to grow indoors, and can be difficult to irradiate unless the source of the moisture is eliminated. Molds have the potential to cause health problems, but do not affect every individual in the same way. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, but not to all. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.
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Lead exposure can come from various sources, put most commonly lead-based paint from older homes and lead-containing pipes in homes.
POSSIBLE LEAD HAZARDS IN THE HOME
- Chips and debris from exterior lead paint
- Fumes and ashes from burning painted wood or paper with colored ink
- Lead paint on walls, window sills and woodwork
- Unswept, unvacuumed and unmopped floors with lead dust and dirt
- Toys with lead paint
- Old furniture with lead paint
- Food or liquids stored in lead glazed pottery or lead crystal decanters
- Food contaminated by lead in soil or dust
- Lead from dust and plaster created by home renovation or deterioration of surfaces
- Soil in yards, playgrounds or gardens near lead painted buildings or busy streets
- Lead water pipes or lead soldered joints
- Exhaust fumes from cars, farm equipment or lawn mowers burning leaded gasoline
More general information on Lead