Noise Control/Radon

In the advent of technological advancements that we have today, we are not only given innovations that would make our lives easier, but also some risks and threats to our health and well-being. These health risks and threats can be considered as the negative side of these technological advancements, and these are usually in the form of pollution. Pollution on the other hand, can be classified into various types, usually depending on the aspect of the environment that they have a corresponding negative effect.

These include air, water, and soil pollution. There are also some types of pollution which arises when there is an excessive amount of a naturally occurring substance or phenomenon, just like Radon Pollution and Noise Pollution. But between these two, it is the radon pollution that poses great risks, as it affects everyone in the country, with greater risks to those staying in their homes.

Noise pollution is defined as “an unwanted, disturbing sound that causes a nuisance in the eye of the beholder (Nunez, 1998).” This is comprised by displeasing sounds created by human activity or by machines, and are known to disrupt the environment (Berglund & Lindvall, 1995). The leading cause of noise pollution today is from the transportation sources – the noise coming from the motor vehicles. In a person, the aspect greatly affected by noise pollution is the sense of hearing, which could lead to different responses from the affected one, including annoyance and other behavioral changes.

Radon pollution on the other hand, is caused by naturally occurring processes. Even before man became aware of pollution and its effect on human health, Radon was already around the environment. It’s because Radon is a natural part of the atmosphere, and that it is continually being released by the earth, because it is the product of the radioactive decay of radioactive materials like Uranium and Thorium (Health Physics Society, 1997).

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The problem that results from this is when people build their homes on the Radon-releasing soil. Since it is a naturally occurring process, Radon will just continue to seep through the soil, supposedly going to the atmosphere. When homes are built however, the Radon tends to seep through the cracks in the basement, and will just be contained in our homes. Excessive Radon contents are known to cause respiratory problems like lung cancer, the second known cause for lung cancer deaths all over the country, next to smoking (U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000).

Radon pollution poses a greater health risk to the community, as compared to Noise pollution. This is because Radon release of the earth is a naturally occurring event, as compared to Noise creation. Having Radon in the environment is inevitable, that even our homes are not a safe place to stay if the matter is not taken seriously. Noise pollution is also relative to a person: what could be noisy to some people can be pleasing for others.

Also, noise pollution is slowly being suppressed by technology, like the hybrid cars being quieter as compared to normal-engine vehicles. But despite this, Radon pollution can be solved thru the people themselves. There are ways to protect homes from excessive Radon contents, like maintaining a sealed, well ventilated basement. Another is to regularly check the Radon contents in your home, a safety measure which is not costly and can be afforded by a normal household.

As Radon pollution may continue to exist despite all the technological innovations present today, this doesn’t mean that people will forever be at risk because of it. Health risks can be averted by making sure that the people’s homes are protected from the seeping Radon gases. Spending a little for the family’s health would mean protecting them from fatal health risks.

References:

Berglund, B., & Lindvall, T. (1995). Community Noise.   Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://www.nonoise.org/library/whonoise/whonoise.htm

Health Physics Society. (1997). Radon Fact Sheet.   Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://www.hps1.org/glossary/radon.htm

Nunez, D. G. (1998). Cause and Effects of Noise Pollution.   Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://www.dbc.uci.edu/~sustain/global/sensem/S98/Nunez/Noise.html

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2000). Radionuclides (including Radon, Radium and Uranium).   Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://www.epa.gov/ttn/uatw/hlthef/radionuc.html

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