how radon enters your home

Uranium is a radioactive element that is found to varying degrees in soil, rock and water in every part of the country. As uranium breaks down it releases a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas called radon. Radon also has radioactive properties, and has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer.

Since it is undetectable to the human senses and its effects don’t show up for years, radon can be present in industrial buildings as well as residential homes without the occupant’s knowledge. Fortunately, if radon is elevated, it doesn’t have to stay that way: There are simple ways to find out the radon level in your building and solutions available to correct the problem.

Health Effects of Radon Exposure

The primary health risk of radon exposure is a significantly increased rate of lung cancer. This risk is exponentially higher for people who smoke, and radon exposure also poses an increased danger to children who grow up in a contaminated home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are approximately 21,000 radon-induced lung cancer deaths per year, with roughly 2,900 of these deaths occurring in patients who had never smoked.

Certain areas of the United States have a higher incidence of increased radon levels than others. The EPA has collected data for each state and has determined which zones have an increased rate of these elevated levels. This information is available in map form here. It is important to keep in mind that an individual building may not reflect the trend of the region: A home in a high radon area my test low, and the reverse situation could also be true, so testing is always necessary.

Testing for Radon

The only way to know if radon is present in a building and at what level is to test for it. Home radon testing kits are easy to use and are widely available for purchase online and in home improvement stores for reasonable prices. Many state health departments also offer testing kits either free of charge or for a discounted price; check with the individual state to find out their specific program.

testing for radon

The testing process is simple. There are a few different kinds of kits available, but all function by collecting a sample of indoor air, usually at the lowest level of the building. The sample is then sent off to a laboratory to be analyzed, with the results reported to the homeowner as soon as they are available.

Test kits come in both short-term and long-term options. Short-term tests take as little as two days to collect a sufficient sample while long-term kits take at least 90 days. Since levels of radon can vary from season to season or even day to day, performing a long-term test will yield the most reliable results. The benefit of a short-term test is receiving a quick result, but it should always be followed up by another short-term test or by a long-term one for the most accurate reading.

Home radon detectors are also available for constant monitoring. These devices function in a similar manner to smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. However, they do not replace a test for an initial reading, and they are also fairly expensive.

How to Find a Professional

While there is information available for homeowners to do radon mitigation themselves, the risk of not fixing the problem correctly or even making it worse is very real. Hiring a professional radon remediation contractor is the best solution. The EPA recommends that contractors be certified either at the state or national level. Two national certification programs, The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists and National Radon Safety Board (NRSB), are privately run and can supply references for reputable contractors.

A simple online search will yield results for local contractors. There are also websites that offer customer reviews and recommendations for contractors that have done quality work. Since not all remediation services may be certified, it is worthwhile to check the certification status of the individual contractor to ensure they meet the recommended standards.

Correcting Radon Leaks

A radon test reading of 4.0 pCi/L or higher is considered to be an unsafe level, and steps must be taken to correct the problem. In almost every case, a building can have its radon problems fixed in a relatively short time; an average-sized house can be done in as little as one day.The National Radon Program Services states the average national cost for professional radon mitigation is $1,200, with a range of $800 to $1,500, depending on the specific situation and area of the country.

The most common radon remediation solutions include installing fans and a piping network, which cause the radon to flow outside. An area under the building is depressurized by installing suction pits, and the radon gas is drawn through the piping system and fans, re-routing the radon far enough away from the building to prevent re-entry. To view a detailed image of what a mitigation system looks like, see this website.

Final Take

Elevated radon levels pose serious long-term health risks, and today is the best time to take action to lower those risks. By beginning the process of testing and if necessary, mitigation, these dangers can be reduced or eliminated completely. Taking advantage of the many resources and programs available can help make this important task much easier.

broward county fl health resources

Anyone seeking information about mental health resources in Broward County, Florida, might be overwhelmed and confused by the many different kinds of services available. In a time of need or while trying to prevent a mental health crisis, not understanding how to get help or where to look for resources complicates the healthcare process.

Certain situations require multiple services and the needs of every person may be different, but here are seven resources for residents of Broward County, Florida:

A Coalition For Care

Knowing how the healthcare system is organized helps someone understand where to look for the resources they need. Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) oversees the entire behavioral health system for the public in Broward County. In order to better understand the different private companies that provide healthcare services through this system, Broward Behavioral Health Coalition was created. While much of their work focuses on gathering information and funding for programs and grants in the area, they release lists and directories for public use. The BBHC’s mission seeks to support accessible and affordable behavioral healthcare for residents in need of compassionate, effective care.

Finding Help Next Door

The easier it is to reach a provider, the more likely someone is to be able to use that service effectively and consistently. Finding the right programs nearby requires up-to-date local databases, and Broward 2-1-1 maintains an area-specific list of resources and their addresses. This database can be searched online by using keywords and can also be searched by type of service.

While the main database covers all areas of need, including housing and financial assistance, searches can be narrowed down to specify mental health resources.

State-Supported Centers

florida health supportRapid response to a mental health crisis can include inpatient care at a psychiatric hospital. The emergency rooms of community hospitals know the appropriate procedures for urgent care of a patient in personal crisis, but medication management and behavioral evaluation must take place with a team focused on psychiatric principles.

The state of Florida provides funding and support for South Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center as well as South Florida State Hospital as behavioral healthcare resources for Broward County. Other facilities are available in different parts of the state if the person in need should be relocated where immediate family or additional resources may be available.

Nationally Connected Programs

Finding effective, local treatment for mental health wellness or addiction recovery is a personal process, which means there needs to be a lot of options from which everyone may choose. With a wide range of choices comes uncertainty about how to make the best decision, or which provider is recognized by the appropriate organizations. One way that consumers can find these programs and treatment centers is with the Substance

Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Not only does SAMHSA maintain a robust and searchable database of helplines and locations, they also maintain a list of known treatment techniques and their known outcomes in scientific studies. This allows people to target the kind of program that would suit their need and then search for locations near them that might provide it.

Funding And Insurance Coverage

By law, certain mental and behavioral health services are essential benefits that should be part of every insurance plan before it can be purchased by consumers. If someone in need has an insurance plan, they should consult their coverage details for the full extent of services paid for by the plan.

Many treatment centers are able to guide their clients in how to determine what their coverage includes, and some may provide financial assistance through grants and donations for those without a current insurance plan.

Credit-based programs that provide consumers with a credit line specifically approved for healthcare are another option for people lacking insurance or enough coverage for the care they need.

Community-Based Recovery

For a fully localized directory of mental health resources for Broward County residents, the Broward Connections Guidebook keeps a descriptive list. Most entries include basic insurance information, financial assistance eligibility, physical locations, phone numbers, and hours. When available, websites and department contact information are also listed with the entry.

Focusing On Family Care

Behavioral and mental healthcare treatment programs often include the entire family so that every member can build coping skills for possible crises. When the person in need is a youth, there are specific services available for them to prevent a crisis.

As well, treatment programs that focus on building behavioral skills are an important intervention for children who struggle with mental health challenges. The University of South Florida maintains a national directory of family-focused organizations that can be searched by state and keyword.

Conclusion

Always remember to dial local emergency services if a mental health crisis is an immediate danger to anyone’s safety and well-being. Therapeutic techniques and programs work together through short-term and long-term treatment plans to develop and support mental health wellness.

millenials want their health records on the go

Millennials aged between 18 to 34 years old are quickly shaping the economic sphere and changing nearly everything they touch. From making certain industries obsolete to putting more of their trust in technology, millennials are now changing the medical industry by demanding more engagement through online portals.

While there are health portals to help millennials can get their records online, the information usually isn’t complete and not as engaging as they’d like. Here are five reasons why this group wants their personal health records on-the-go.

Personal Engagement

Millennials have shown that they prefer personal engagement and information directly about them. This has long been the trajectory of technology and how people use it. Most millennials, along with other age groups who are acquainted with the Internet, use online portals to get information personally relevant to them. While these portals give some information, it doesn’t provide a full record that patients can read over at their leisure.

This age group has shown a propensity to want their personal information at their grasp, to read over and share whenever they want. It has also been shown that even though 64 percent of Americans don’t access their medical information online, 57 percent of that group would be more interested in their health if they had open access to records. Improving engagement could exponentially increase medical revenue while also giving millennials what they have been begging for.

Additional Doctor Services

Doctors provide a huge number of services, but they tend to only discuss relevant ones with clients. While this makes sense as doctors don’t want to provide irrelevant procedures, millennials would love to know more about what their doctors do. This is especially true as most of this age group finds doctors online and reads about their offices long before setting up an appointment.

By providing millennials their records online, these portals could also expand on what this group wants by providing information on doctors they have seen or ones that would be relevant to their conditions. Not only would this make millennials more comfortable with their doctors, but it could also drive sales by having them ask doctors for additional services.

Personalized Recommendations

Expanding on the last point, millennials want to know where to go as their health changes. Where can they go locally that would treat major conditions like diabetes, cancer or mental health disorders? Who in the area is the highest rated, or who provides coverage in their network?

Adding this level of engagement within an online portal shouldn’t require much effort for technological engineers. This age bracket also takes much more interest in its health. They would love to read their records, analyze medical terms and see what doctors are objectively assessing about them.

Willing to See Different Doctors

Even though both millennials and baby boomers are shown to be interacting with technology more and more, they interact with their doctors in a very different way. Baby boomers are characterized by comfort. They need to be comfortable with their doctor, and they tend to stay with the same doctor for years even if another one may suit their needs better.

Millennials tend to have much less loyalty. They want doctors who can provide care for their exact condition or meet their individual preferences. They are more prone to shopping around for doctors and have no qualms about going from one professional to another. Having their records in a mobile or online environment would make this process much easier as they wouldn’t have to contact the office, pay any record fees or jump through hoops to get their medical information.

Trust in Technology

No generation has put so much trust in technology as millennials. Some believe that it’s because they were born in the age of pervasive mobile devices, while others see this as a curious group that is constantly seeking more knowledge. In either case, this has led this age bracket to seek everything online.

Studies have shown that millennials will seek out local offices, read reviews and find both doctors and hospitals online. While personal referrals are still effective, most people will still see if the referred doctor is online. This extends to being able to see their records whenever they want.

Instead of going by a doctor’s word, millennials would rather read their records and see everything that their doctor found. Without this level of transparency, millennials often find themselves begging for more information and distrusting their doctor.

Conclusion

Millennials crave information, especially if it personally concerns them. It has been shown that this group trusts technology and they would love having their personal medical records accessible at any moment.

Many experts are even thinking that providing this access will be what separates successful offices from failures in the near future. By giving millennials what they want in regards to access, this could cause them to seek out medical help more often while making them even more engaged in their health.

Nutritional Deficiency Information

Nutritional Deficiency Information

Many millions of people today suffer from chronic health issues. For some, it is the battle of the bulge that constantly bests them. For others, the issue is one of blood sugar imbalances which can lead to hypoglycemia or diabetes.

For still others, they suffer from “mystery ailments” such as generalized fatigue, lower back pain, anxiety, irritability or poor digestion.

What do all of these health concerns potentially share in common? Surprisingly, the answer might well be as simple as a nutritional deficiency.

In this article, learn about 10 common nutritional deficiencies that are now known to contribute to certain health problems.

10 Common Nutritional Deficiencies & Their Related Health Problems

1. Potassium Deficiency: Constipation.

No one likes to experience constipation. Yet it is a very common and sometimes chronic issue many adults deal with daily.

Constipation can be triggered by many factors, but one identified key, according to Everyday Health, is a potassium deficiency.

Potassium is a critical nutrient for the heart, the muscles, the kidneys and the bowel. Without sufficient potassium intake, the muscular contractions required to push fecal matter out of the body will not happen.

RDI (recommended daily intake) for adults: 4,700 mg/daily.

2. Calcium Deficiency: Osteoporosis.

Brittle bone syndrome is very common among adults, and especially adult and senior women. The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) states that one out of every three women and one out of five men will experience a bone fracture or break due to osteoporosis.

Not only can calcium deficiency lead to brittle bones, but it can also contribute to muscle cramps and heart arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) over time.

RDI for adults: 1,000 mg/daily.

3. Vitamin D Deficiency: Depression, Disease & Early Death.

Human beings, unlike most other creatures, cannot make their own Vitamin D. People need access to sunlight or supplementation to get sufficient daily intake of Vitamin D.

As Prevention states, Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a whole host of the “worst of the worst” health issues, including depression, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, dementia, cancer and (not surprisingly) early death.

RDI for adults: 600 IU/daily.

4. Iron Deficiency: Anemia.

While low iron levels is slightly less common in first world cultures such as in North America, worldwide, Healthline cites iron deficiency as the current leading nutritional issue globally, with an estimated 30 percent of the population affected.

Depleted iron levels can cause anemia. Anemia in turn leads to poor and low red blood cell production. With fewer red blood cells to deliver oxygen to all the cells in the body, symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, hair loss and increased infections.

RDI for adults: 17-19 mg/daily (women) and 19-20 mg/daily (men).

5. Vitamin A Deficiency: Vision Impairment or Blindness.

Vitamin A is critical for proper functioning of the eyes and the reproductive system.

The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights that a lack of Vitamin A during the growing up years can cause blindness. In adults, it can cause night blindness and increasing risk of infections.

RDI for adults: 2,300 IU/daily (women) and 3,000 IU/daily (men).

6. Magnesium Deficiency: Cramps, Spasms, Seizures.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a Health Professional Fact Sheet highlighting the many risks of magnesium deficiency.

At one time, magnesium deficiency was virtually unheard of, since magnesium is present in many natural foods. But with the modern diet of processed fast foods, the magnesium intake for many people has decreased markedly.

Because magnesium is a nutrient the body relies on for so many important processes, chronic deficiency can produce its own set of severe health consequences. At the mild end, muscle cramps and fatigue/weakness may occur. At the severe end, seizures and coronary spasms can be life-threatening.

RDI for adults: 310-320 mg/daily (women) and 400-420/daily (men).

7. Zinc Deficiency: Immune System Deficiency.

Zinc plays an important role in the body’s immune system function. Whenever a bacteria, virus or germ enters the body, the immune system will mobilize to fight it off.

Without sufficient zinc, infections increase, childhood development is delayed, wounds don’t heal, the gastrointestinal system doesn’t work well to absorb nutrients and eliminate properly and there is decreased alertness and energy.

RDI for adults: 8 mg/daily (women) and 11 mg/daily (men).

8. Vitamin B-12 Deficiency: Memory Loss, Incontinence.

Harvard Medical School states that Vitamin B-12 is one of those vitamins is one of those nutrients the body can’t do without.

From making cells and neurons and DNA to keeping memory, taste, smell and mood balanced, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can mimic other potential issues. Two particularly unwelcome side effects of Vitamin B-12 deficiency include memory loss and incontinence.

RDI for adults: 2.4 micro-grams/daily.

9. Iodine: Goiter.

Iodine, like magnesium, used to be one of those nutrients everyone seemed to have enough of. But once salt-free foods and salt substitutes, as well as Iodine-free salts, came out, that all changed.

The American Thyroid Association points out that goiter, an enlarged thyroid gland, can be caused by insufficient iodine, since the thyroid requires iodine to manufacture hormones the body needs.

RDI for adults: 150 micro-grams/daily.

10. Vitamin B-9 (Folate) Deficiency: Stroke, Birth Defects.

For pregnant woman, folate is well known. Most ob-gyn practitioners prescribe a folate supplement when a woman conceives.

However, what many people don’t realize is that pregnancy isn’t the only cause of folate deficiency. Patient Info states folate deficiency can also cause stroke and reduce resistance to some cancers.

RDI for adults: 400 micro-grams/daily

The Case for Multivitamins

More so than any other health aid, simply consuming a balanced and complete daily diet is still the hands-down best way to ensure daily nutritional intake is adequate to the body’s needs.

However, far fewer adults consume such a diet on a regular basis. Web MD relates that this is a primary reason why health practitioners commonly recommend that all adults – men and women – take a multivitamin each day.

By taking a multi-vitamin formulated for the adult nutritional needs of men and women, dietary deficiencies will not contribute to ongoing health issues.

The best way to begin taking a multivitamin is to consult a doctor and have an initial round of blood work. This will highlight any serious nutrient deficiencies, which could guide the choice of multivitamin.

Before choosing a multi-vitamin, be sure to take a look at the ingredients list to verify these 10 nutrients are represented. Also check the levels to be sure any individual nutrient deficiency issues are properly addressed by that multivitamin (it can be good to take the help of a doctor for this). You should also do research online, here are two good lists to start on: Top 10 Multivitamins for Men & Top 10 Multivitamins for Women from Top10Supplements.com.

Future Role of Smartwatches in Personal Health

The Promising Future Role of Smart Watches in Personal Health

Technology in the health industry is developing at an impressive rate. The doctors are continuously researching for simpler ways in which one can be able to maintain optimum health and prevent ill-health. As a result, gadgets aimed at helping in personal health such as smart phones and smart watches have been developed. Smart watches have continuously shown promise in helping individuals maintain good health as they can access physiological data that the hand held mobile devices might not be able to access.

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personal coach

Personal Health Coach Info

Hiring a personal health coach could help you achieve the body and mindset that you have always desired. Though a personal health coach is not a magical solution to achieving total fitness, they can offer simple solutions for recurring issues that stand in the way of obtaining your health and fitness goals.

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