Cancer and construction materials | Part 1

It is estimated that the 19% of all cases of cancer are due to environmental factors.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide and still climbing. After the numerous reasons that cause their development, it is estimated that about a 19% of cases are due to environmental factors. Environmental pollution and the work environment can be often, the focus of the problem, nevertheless home is not a risk-free zone.

To achieve a healthy environment, we will provide some recommendations which include important aspects such as ventilation, type of water consumed, and building materials, we will even add, devices that generate electromagnetic waves for good measure.


Lung cancer and radon.

In many countries, radon is the second in the list of the leading causes of lung cancer. It is a gas of natural origin that is produced by the radioactive decay of uranium that is within the rocks and soil. Radon passes easily from the rocks into the air, where it disintegrates and forms several products that emit radioactive particles. These particles are in the air that we breathe and can cause damage to the genetic material of the cells of the respiratory tract and, thus, cause lung cancer.


Radon is the main cause of lung cancer in people who do not smoke, although the likelihood of developing this malignant neoplasm is much greater in smokers. While higher concentrations are found in certain work environments, as some mines, housing also there is certain amount of radon that can be harmful.


It depends, on the amount of uranium.

The volume of this gas in homes depends, among other things to uranium that contains the underlying terrain and the routes that there are to get into buildings. Radon is introduced through small cracks, sinks and drains, since also it is located in the water. The type of house construction and insulation of windows also have an influence, as well as the habits of ventilating our homes. The largest quantities of radon occur in basements areas and those spaces in direct contact with the ground.


The lower it is the concentration of the gas, lesser is the risk, but is unknown the threshold below which there is no risk. Most of the countries have adopted as a point of reference a concentration of radon in the 200 to 400 Bq/m3 indoor air. There are devices for measuring these concentrations, but the most practical is to hire a company specializing in these measurements.


Good ventilation is the key.

Well ventilated houses, especially basements and areas in direct contact with the ground, is important to reduce radon concentrations, to minimize risks, where it is not possible to ventilate naturally it may be necessary to install air extractors.


Relationship between cancer and electromagnetic fields.

About 20,000 people die each year associated with passive smoking lung cancer.


Another unseen enemy is the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) created by mobile phones and other electronic devices. The International Agency for research on Cancer (IARC) has classified them as possibly carcinogenic. With the data available have been currently included in group 2B, category which is used when one considers that a causal Association is credible, but there are factors that do not allow the claim with reasonable confidence.


Anyway, studies to analyse in greater depth the possible effects to long-term use of mobile phones continue. Investigations have focused mostly on finding a link between brain tumours and the use of the mobile phones. In a study conducted in several countries, it was not found an increased risk of suffering from a brain tumour with the use of the mobile phone for more than 10 years, although there are some indications of an increased risk in the group of people who used more mobile.


Not conclusive evidence.

There is no doubt that this is a matter of vital importance, since in recent years has increased the exposure to electromagnetic fields with the massive use of electrical appliances, mobile devices, and computers screens, among other devices. Until there is secure evidence, it is reasonable to minimize exposure to EMF. One option would be to keep mobile and electronic devices at a certain distance, especially at night. According to experts, is must reduce the number of electrical appliances in the bedroom, as radio or cordless phones, and replace the wifi connection cable or turn it off at night.


Next week we will continue with more facts and figures about cancer and construction materials.


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