At the start of any New Year, copious amounts of New Year’s resolutions are considered. Predominantly they surround health and lifestyle changes. Get a gym membership, eat more fruit and vegetables, ensure you drink enough water, find ways to de-stress, the list goes on and on. Sometimes, however, it is the simplest things that are often overlooked. Unsurprisingly, the air we breathe is vital to our overall health, yet it is often forgotten when it comes to our New Year’s resolutions.
For some, poor air quality is obvious as telling symptoms arise. For others, this is not the case. Sneezing, coughing and watery eyes often signal those with hay fever of the irritants in the air.
Similarly, in the colder months, shortness of breath is common for asthma sufferers. As a preventative measure, many check for pollen in hay fever season, or ensure asthma prescriptions are refilled in winter. Why then, if symptoms often occur and at peak times, should we bother to monitor the air all year long?
This type of thinking was natural for when society was less industrialized. Now however we spend 90% of our time indoors, therefore the condition of the air we breathe inside is also of vital importance. Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is carcinogenic when subjected to it over a long period of time. In fact, radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to the EPA. Its odorless nature makes it impossible to detect through the human senses.
Now for some good news: by measuring daily it is easy to ensure the air we breathe is healthy, with non dangerous levels of radon. Government organizations across the globe are making radon detection a priority:
- US Environmental Protection Agency named January as National Radon Action Month
- NHS England has made lung health a priority in their Long Term Plan
- Born out of World Summit, The Paris Charter dedicates February 4th to World Cancer Day
With so many government agencies mobilizing their community to make progress against cancer caused by radon, it is the perfect time to join the thousands who have made breathing in clean air a New Year’s resolution.