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Do you have Radon in your home? That is the question that all homeowners in should know the answer to. The upper Midwest has some of the highest concentrations of radon in the country and that’s why home owners or home buyers for that matter should be aware. Most people don’t think they have radon because they can’t smell it, taste it, see it or touch it. It is silent and it is deadly.

So what is Radon? Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can penetrate your home and cause serious health risks to the whole family. Most soils contain uranium that, over time, decays to produce radium and polonium. Eventually, polonium is released with the radon, which creates a high toxicity level in the air and water that it infuses.

There is no model for how radon enters the house it is very persistent and most commonly enters the home through cracks in the slab, floor-wall joints exposed soil and sometimes even water from a well.

Exposure to radon gas increases your risk of developing lung cancer. According to the EPA an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States are due to radon exposure, which makes it the second leading cause of lung cancer following smoking. Radon gas and its decay products in the air are breathed into the lungs where they break down further and emit alpha particles. Alpha particles release a small burst of energy, which is absorbed by nearby lung tissue. This results in lung cell damage. While the effects of smoking cigarettes are far more recognizable when compared to the effects of radon exposure, there is very little separating the severity of these two potential dangers. How can smoking cigarettes be compared to radon exposure? Check this out!

1 pCi/L of radon is equal to 2.5 cigarettes a day! Multiply a home’s radon levels by 2.5 and understand that any homeowner could easily experience the effects of smoking a “pack a day” if the radon levels are at 4.0 pCi/L– the minimum action level established by the Environmental Protection Agency.

So now you know that radon is no joke, but how do find out if you have radon in your home. That’s the easy part. The American Lung Association, the EPA, and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes for radon. Testing for radon is simple and relatively inexpensive.

There are several ways to test, but these three are probably the most common:

-A short-term kit allows you to get a basic reading in 48 hours, it’s like a quick snap shot of your situation. Radon test kits can be bought from your local Lowes or Hardware store. Once the test is done you simply mail the kit to the lab and they mail you the results.

-A CRM test stands for Continuous Radon Monitoring and this is done by contacting your local state certified Radon testing and radon mitigation specialist. You can find one on your county health department website. In this test they will set a small electronic monitor, a little smaller than a shoe box and garnish the results for you in 48 hours. This test is more live a movie rather than a snap shot because it takes a reading every hour and comes up with a pretty solid range.

-A Long-term tests remain in your home for more than 90 days. Alpha track and electric detectors are commonly used for this type of testing. A long-term test will give a more accurate annual average radon level than a short-term test for your home. The short-term and CRM method of testing are probably are more commonly used during the buying or selling of a home.

After all the testing is done and your radon levels are at 4.0 pCi/L– the minimum action level established by the Environmental Protection Agency or higher, radon mitigation will be the next step. Radon mitigation is a simple process typically, but should be done by a state certified radon professional. Each radon mitigation system design varies depending on the structure of your home. Homes are generally categorized according to their foundation design. The existence of a basement, crawl space, …

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Advances in medical science have given us a specialized form of testing today that is easy to conduct from the comfort at home and powerful enough to foresee the probability of specific diseases developing. This information when reviewed by medical doctors and specialists can save lives.

The type of tests that we are referring to are known as genetic testing, aka genetic screening.

As mentioned above this type of testing is potentially life saving, so read on.

What Exactly is Genetic Testing?

Genetic or DNA testing is a powerful methodology that has been developed to determine if an individual patient has genetic propensities to certain diseases.

Genetic screening may be utilized to determine if there is a potential presence of genetic disease, or forms of genes, related to the increased risk of coming down with certain genetic disorders.

What genetic testing does is to identify changes in genes. Those changes are red flags to researchers and medical professionals that a patient has a statistical probability of coming down with a certain disease.

Armed with that information, medical science may be able to take steps to mitigate or lessens the risks of that disease occurring, and thus potentially save the of of the patient.

The variety of theses genetic tests has expanded throughout the years, making their use more common in the quest off ward off disease.

For example, the potential for developing cardiovascular or heart disease is an example of one such disease that genetic screening test will potentially discover.

Genetic tests can determine if there is a genetic condition that should be addressed by a physician.

In the past, genetic tests typically searched for rare inherited diseases. Today, tests look to multiple genes to determine the risk of developing specific diseases.

Currently there are hundreds of genetic test that may be conducted

Some of them include but are not limited to:

  • Newborn screening- used after birth to identify genetic disorders that can be treated early in life
  • Diagnostic testing- used to discover specific genetic conditions.
  • Carrier testing-used to identify people who carry a gene mutation that causes a genetic disorder.
  • Prenatal testing- used to detect changes in genes before birth.
  • Before implantation testing- reduces the risk of having a child with a particular genetic disorder.
  • Predictive testing- used to detect gene mutations related to diseases that appear later
  • Forensic testing- uses DNA to identify people for in legal proceedings.

Several hundred genetic tests are currently in use, and more are being developed.

The evidence is clear that for those who may be interested in learning whether any genetic evidence exists that may help identify a propensity or possibility of coming down with a specific disease, genetic testing or genetic screening is a powerful tool in this quest for knowledge.

The tests are simple,pain free and fast. In fact some can be conducted at home making the entire experience stress free and at the convenience of the patient.

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Source by M. Bruno

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