PCBs are a group of human-made chemicals that can cause serious health problems. Vermont has requirements for schools built or renovated before 1980 to test for PCBs in indoor air and to make fixes if levels are high.
Drought is a prolonged dry period caused by less than normal rainfall or snowfall for an extended period of time. Drought can lead to water shortages, meaning there is less water available for drinking, food production and swimming. It can also lead to other impacts such as poor water quality and more wildfires. Drought can affect our physical and mental health as well as the local economy. Drought conditions sometimes take years to develop and can last as short as one season or as long as many decades.
Along with the cold, snow and ice, winter weather can affect your health. The cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia and can contribute to heart attacks when shoveling snow. Icy conditions can cause slips and falls when walking and crashes while driving. Plus, climate change is causing lake ice to thin, which can result in hypothermia and drowning from falling through the ice. Improper burning of heat sources can cause poor indoor air quality and carbon monoxide poisioning. Be sure to stay safe and warm this winter.
The Health Department Lab tests for radon, blue green algae and for bacteria in water.
One in seven Vermont homes has unsafe levels of radon. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Testing is the only way to know if it is in your home.
Investigators both in the U.S. and abroad have shown relationships between short- and long-term exposure to air pollution and the increased risk of heart attack and other forms of heart disease.
Outdoor air can contain pollutants. Air pollution has been linked to specific health problems—such as asthma, heart disease, and lung cancer.
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, is the name given to substances that contain carbon and evaporate or “off-gases” at room temperature.
“Particulate” is a general name given to a tiny solid or liquid particle or piece of matter. It usually refers to particles in the air (airborne particulates).
Ozone is a colorless gas with a noticeable smell. Although ozone is naturally found in the atmosphere, it is also a main part of air pollution called smog.