NTUI UNIVERSITYTimothy N. Tarrant Module 5:BHE 314Environmental Health and Safety Dr.
Rania Sabty-Daily15 September 2008 AbstractThe first purpose of this paper is to discuss the public healtheffects that may result in a community exposed to noise produced by a nightclub and to describe the restrictions you would I would recommend the cityrequires the new nightclub meets before granting an approval. Thefollowing scenario will be used:I have been notified that there is a case before City Council toapprove a new nightclub in my neighborhood. The club owners have areputation for being insensitive to those who live nearby in thecommunity. The second purpose of this paper is to identify potential human healthrisks associated with living in a home where radon gas levels may be high. Additionally, I will identify methods available to test for radon gas inthe home and list corrective/remediation measures that can be taken toreduce radon levels in the home. The following scenario will be used:Radon gas emits Alpha particles which may cause lung cancer if inhaledby an individual.
Friends of yours are purchasing a new home in anarea where you understand that radon gas may be common. NOISE CONTROLAlmost everyone is familiar with water and air pollution and theenvironmental concerns associated with them. However, noise pollution isalso of concern as our cities continue to grow at an alarming rate. Itseams as if whenever you venture out into the public you are forced toendure a variety of community noises. Have you ever sat down to enjoydinner or a movie and have been interrupted by the sound of a loud train orplane? Well, these deep rumblings are similar to the sounds that will beproduced by the nightclub that wants to operate within our community.
“Some types of indoor concerts and discotheques can produce extremely highsound pressure levels. Associated noise problems outdoors result fromcustomers arriving and leaving. Outdoor concerts, fireworks and varioustypes of festivals can also produce intense noise. The general problem ofaccess to festivals and leisure activity sites often adds to road trafficnoise problems. Severe hearing impairment may also arise from intense soundproduced as music in headphones or from children’s toys.
” (WHO, 1999)Hearing impairment is the most often thought about health effect from noisepollution; however, there is a variety of health effects on the human bodyassociated with increased noise emissions that people don’t think about. These effects include: stress, hypertension, changes in heart rate,hypercholesterolemia, and/or excessive secretion of hormones. Noise alsodisturbs sleep, upsets our mental health, and even poses a danger tochildhood development. Arlene L. Bronzaft, a member of the New York’sCouncil on the Environment, stated, “I get many calls related to noise andmost assuredly these people are very much troubled by the noises, whetherfrom a loud, noisy neighborhood bar or a neighbor who refuses to keep thestereo low. The anguish these people express clearly speaks to a “poorerstat of mind.
” (Bronzaft, 1996) People exposed to noise during the nightoften turn to the use of sedatives or sleeping pills to fall asleep. Individuals in the community that are especially prone to sleepdisturbances from noises that may emanate from a nightclub include theelderly and shift workers. (WHO, 1999) My recommendations to the CityCouncil would be to recommend approval of the license for the operation ofthe nightclub only if they comply with certain restrictions. First andforemost I would recommend that the club is designed to be soundproof toinside noise so that noise that escapes the club will be minimal to thecommunity surroundings. Then, I would make it mandatory for the club toinstall limiters on all amplified systems to limit low frequency noise.
Additionally, I would require that the club keep door to the entrance ofthe club closed unless patrons are actively entering or exiting theestablishment and the club should provide 10 square feet of indoor waitingspace for patrons waiting to gain access to the club. This will limit theamount of noise that actually escapes the club. “The Office ofOccupational Health and Safety (OSHA) identifies 90 decibels (dB) based onan eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA) as the absolute “safe” level ofnoise exposure. This 90dB concentration is referred to as the OSHAPermissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for noise exposure. Any eight-hour TWAexceeding 90dB requires the employer to implement control measures toreduce the exposure to 90dB or below.
” (LSS, 2008) OSHA also states thatexposure to impulsive noise should not exceed 140 dB but do not defineimpulsive noise. Therefore, I would have the club install a sound meter tomonitor the dB levels in the club and mandate that the club does not exceed100 decibels (dB). Additionally, I would require the club to create aquiet room for employees to “rest their ears” during breaks. Lastly, Iwould recommend that the state public health department be grantedunfettered access to monitor the nightclub for compliance.
RADONRadon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and silent radioactive gas. It is formed by the radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water. Radon gas in homes poses a serious health risk to its occupants. Morethan 20,000 Americans die each year from radon related cancer. In a 2005news release, United States Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona stated,”Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the UnitedStates and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significanthealth risk to families all over the county.
” (DHHS, 2005) Exposure toradon gas produces no immediate symptoms. According to the North CarolinaDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources, Lung cancer is the onlyhealth effect which has been definitively linked with exposure to radon andthe resulting cancer does not usually occur until 5-25 years post exposure. Additionally, “There is no evidence that other respiratory diseases, suchas asthma, are caused by radon exposure and there is no evidence thatchildren are at any greater risk of radon induced lung cancer than adults. “(NC, 2008) Radon exposure is completely preventable and can be detected bysimply testing for its presence.
I would recommend that my friends thatwere purchasing a new home become familiar with “A Citizen’s Guide toRadon: The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon” fromthe Environmental Protection Agency. The Surgeon General recommends thatall homes should be tested for radon and testing can be accomplished byeither yourself or a professional. I would also let them know that thereare two different ways to test for radon, short-term and long-term testing. Short-term testing is the quickest way to test for radon and remains in ahome for two to 90 days depending on what type of product are purchased. The long-term testing kit remains in a home for more than 90 days and areable to give you an accurate reading of the average annual radon levelwhereas the short-term test will not.
Radon detectors can be purchasedthat are just like smoke detectors that alarm when levels reachunacceptable limits. Radon levels should be below 4 pCi/L; if above thislevel, measures should be taken to reduce existing radon levels and limitexposure. The overall radon level in homes is 0 pCi/L, this may not bepossible but should be at least reduced to 2 pCi/L. First I wouldrecommend that my friends ask if the home has radon resistant features. Ifnot and levels are high corrective measures can be taken to reduce exposureto radon.
The method most often used to reduce radon in the home is a ventpipe system and fan. This takes radon from below the house and channels itto the outside of the house. Other measures include sealing cracks in thefoundation, floors, and walls. Regardless of when your home was built, youshould check your home for radon initially and at least every 2 years.
Discounted radon test kits are available from the National Safety Counciland many home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowes sell radontest kits. More information can be obtained from their state radon office. (EPA, 2008) ReferencesBronzaft, A. L. (1996).
The increase in noise pollution: what are the health effects? – The Harmful Effects of Noise. Retrieved September 8, 2008 from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0876/is_n78/ai_20375099Laboratory Safety and Supplies (2008). Elements of an Effective Hearing Conservation Program. Retrieved September 8, 2008 from http://www.
labsafety. com/refinfo/ezfacts/ezf260. htmNorth Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (2008). NC Radon Program: Health Risks of Radon. Retrieved September 8, 2008 from http://www.
ncradiation. net/Radon/Health. htmU. S.
Department of Health and Human Services (2005). Office of the Surgeon General: Surgeon General Releases National Health Advisory On Radon. Retrieved September 8, 2008 from http://www. surgeongeneral. gov/pressreleases/sg01132005.
htmlU. S. Environmental Protection Agency (2008). Radon. Retrieved September 8, 2008 from http://www. epa.
gov/radon/index. htmlWorld Health Organization (1999). WHO Guidelines for Community Noise – A complete, authoritative guide on the effects of noise population on health; Chapter 2: Noise sources and their measurement (pg 26.) Retrieved September 8, 2008 from http://www.ruidos.org/Noise/WHO_Noise_guidelines_2.html