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Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells in an organ or tissue grow out of control, destroying the surrounding cells and potentially travel to other parts of the body.  The mass that is produced from this abnormal growth is called a tumor.   A benign tumor does not affect the surrounding cells but malignant tumor (cancer) does.  Cancer usually takes many years to develop but the affects from exposure to cancer causing agents can be immediate.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer and the EPA estimates that pollutants found in indoor air are responsible for 2500-6500 cancer deaths each year.  The EPA ranks indoor air pollution fourth in cancer risk.  Smoking is the leading cause of death in North America and lung cancer causes more deaths than the next three types of cancer each year combined.  Only 15% of those diagnosed with lung cancer detect it in the early development, which means 85% of lung cancer diagnoses have already spread locally, or to other distant sites in the body.

Lung cancer affects the lining membrane of the airway in the area most exposed to inhaled pollutants.  There are two types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (more common and doesn't spread as readily) and small cell lung cancer (accounts for less than 20% of cases). 

Carcinogens are cancer-causing agents.  Environmental tobacco smoke is known to contain approx 20 probable and known carcinogens.  Formaldehyde, pesticide chemicals, particles emitted from combustible gases and some VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are probable or known carcinogens and are found in many places in and around the home.  Radon, asbestos and benzene are also known human carcinogens.   Radon is estimated to be the cause of 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the US each year. 
  • Coughing blood
  • Coughing that worsens over time
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Recurrent episodes of pneumonia
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

To prevent you or a family member from being exposed to cancer causing agents here are some tips to lower your risk:

  • Hiring a professional to Test for Radon can put to rest any concern that radon might be present in your home, as it is impossible to detect yourself
  • Keep all combustible gas sources well ventilated and maintained
  • Use a Central Air Cleaner to reduce particulate matter carrying known carcinogens
  • Use a HEPA vacuum or central vacuum if unit is outside living space (garage)
  • If asbestos is suspected to be present, do not disturb, it is best left in place.  Have Asbestos Testing done by a professional, and never remove asbestos yourself
  • Use all products containing VOCs in well-ventilated areas, preferably outside, and discard any unused product
  • Limit or eliminate building materials in your home that contain formaldehyde (carpets, countertops, cupboards, furniture etc.) and seal exposed surfaces of pressed wood products properly
  • The single best way for you and your family to avoid developing lung cancer is to not smoke yourself and keep your house smoke free
If someone in your family suffers from cancer, or any severe illness, your home must be kept immaculately clean to keep the immune system strong.  Call Home Heroes today to provide a Healthy Indoor Maintenance Plan for your home, specific to your family's needs!
 
 
Home Heroes' CODE WORD
for Indoor Air Quality
is "IAQ"
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