Radon Awareness

first_imgJanuary is National Radon Action Month (NRAM). Why is there a month dedicated to this gas? Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is safe in outdoor conditions, but can lead to serious health effects if present indoors in large amounts. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Radon is responsible for more deaths than drunk driving. The good news is this is something that is easy to test for and fix. Radon can be a problem anywhere in the state, but higher levels are typically seen in the upper third of Georgia due to the soil and rock environment. Radon is a product of uranium decay, which is very common in this area because of Stone Mountain. Just because you may not live in the upper third of Georgia or near Stone Mountain doesn’t mean you don’t need to test your home. Radon enters homes through gaps or cracks in the construction. Air pressure acts as a vacuum and sucks radon into homes. Radon concentration in homes varies from house to house. Your neighbor could have low and acceptable levels of radon while you may have very high levels. The only way to know is to test your home. How do you get a test kit? Go to the local University of Georgia Extension office or order online at www.UGAradon.org. Place the radon test kit in the lowest livable level of the home for 3 to 7 days. Complete the required information on the envelope and mail it to the laboratory to be analyzed. Results will be mailed to you and, if the level is high, a radon educator will follow up with you to determine your next step. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers any level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or above to be high. If your test kit reveals high levels of radon your home should be mitigated. This is how radon levels are reduced. Mitigation includes installing a fan ventilation system that removes the concentrated radon to outside. Don’t worry, the radon released outside is safe and of no health concern. Your family could be breathing in high levels of radon in your home on a daily basis. Order a test kit today to help protect the health of you and your family. For more information, visit www.UGAradon.org or send an email to [email protected]last_img read more

Pension funds less tough on tobacco than insurers: survey

first_imgIt suggested the difference was attributable to the fact that many insurers also sell healthcare policies and have adjusted their investment policies accordingly.VBDO found that six pension funds had blacklisted investments in tobacco firms. They include the €185bn healthcare scheme PFZW, which ceased investing in cigarette manufacturers in 2013.The occupational schemes for general practitioners (SPH) and medical consultants (SPMS) have also halted investing in tobacco.The large metal schemes PMT and PME, when asked, indicated that they didn’t have a tobacco policy, although PME said it would introduce one soon.The €22bn multi-sector pension fund PGB also said it would come up with a policy, following a survey suggesting that just 17% of its participants supported tobacco investments.The €382bn civil service scheme ABP and the €54bn pension fund for the building sector (BpfBOUW) said they invested in tobacco companies “as the sale of cigarettes is still legal in the Netherlands”.The €5bn pension fund PNO Media made clear that it had launched a survey to find out how its participants perceived tobacco investments.According to VBDO, which didn’t publish the names of the investors participating in the survey, nine of the 11 interviewed insurers did not invest in tobacco.VBDO and the Heart Foundation rejected the often cited point that smoking is a free choice, arguing that many smokers have difficulties to quit the habit because of their physical addiction.They also contended that excluding tobacco investments doesn’t negatively affect returns.In their opinion, tobacco investments don’t have a future “as governments increasingly curb smoking and the worldwide number of smokers has been decreasing for years”. Dutch insurers have much stronger exclusion policies on tobacco industry investments than the country’s pension funds, a survey has revealed.The study, conducted by the Association of Investors in Sustainable Development (VBDO) and commissioned by the Heart Foundation found that an increasing number of pension funds were looking into the issue.VBDO said 55 institutional investors took part in the survey, including 30 pension funds with combined assets of €800bn, and 11 insurers.According to the VBDO, more than two-thirds of pension funds didn’t have a policy in place for tobacco investments, compared to 10% of insurers.last_img read more

Syracuse shakes up doubles combinations after struggling all year

first_img Published on March 4, 2020 at 10:05 pm Contact Christopher: [email protected] | @chrisscargs Facebook Twitter Google+ Down 1-0 against then-No. 10 Duke, Kim Hansen dealt a serve into Duke’s service box, beginning a 13-hit rally that drew her doubles partner Sonya Treshcheva near the net. After tripping and regaining her footing, Treshcheva skidded her racket across the ground, returning a soft lob.Treshcheva’s weak hit turned into an overhead spiked winner from Duke’s Margaryta Bilokin. Hansen and Treshcheva lost the set, 6-3, along with the doubles point and eventually the match.SU’s doubles pairs haven’t just struggled against top-10 opponents. Throughout the season, players have lost their footing, miscommunicated and lofted balls out of bounds. Mishits have players like Treshcheva putting their hands in their face and voicing frustrations in Russian.On the season, Syracuse’s doubles pairs are 4-6. In both of SU’s losses, the Orange (8-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) won just one doubles point. Injuries have caused head coach Younes Limam to shuffle the doubles combinations — every partnership has changed since the season opener.Since Syracuse’s 7-0 loss to the Blue Devils, Limam has paired Hansen with Miranda Ramirez, Treshcheva with Sofya Golubovskaya, and Zeynep Erman with Guzal Yusupova.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We trust the fact that we have a lot of players that complement each other,” Limam said, “like some of them are very aggressive from the baseline, some are very aggressive at the net. It’s just trying to find that combination.”Nagging injuries to Kozyreva and Golubovskaya have caused SU to either forfeit or play with less than 100% health. This has hurt the Orange’s chance to win two out of the three doubles matches.Hansen, who said she used to play with a different doubles partner every week during her junior tennis career, started the season at No. 48 in doubles with Treshcheva. After two matches with fellow freshman Erman, Hansen has now ended up with Ramirez as an unranked pair.“If you play with a lot of different doubles partners you have to adjust every single time,” Hansen said. “So it’s kind of hard to get used to someone if they change all the time.”We trust the fact that we have a lot of players that complement each other. Like some of them are very aggressive from the baseline, some are very aggressive at the net. It’s just trying to find that combination.- Younes LimamOne thing new duos often have to adjust to is a language barrier, Polina Kozyreva said. Eight out of Syracuse’s nine players are foreign-born, and Ramirez is the only person whose first language is English.Ramirez — who spent the past three years playing with Gabriela Knutson in SU’s first All-American doubles pair — started the 2020 campaign with Yusupova but partnered up with Hansen after the post-Duke switch.“It is bittersweet,” Ramirez said. “It is always tough when girls graduate and new girls come in and we change these partners and lineups and all that stuff.”In the midst of Hansen and Ramirez’s doubles set against Louisville, up five games and on the verge of clinching the doubles point, the pair awaited the Cardinals serve. After a short rally, Hansen cannoned a shot beyond Louisville’s baseline.“So bad,” said Hansen as she stared down at the court with the loss of the point. The week before, against Duke’s Meible Chi and Bilokin, Hansen was given challenging shots that made her either hit the ball into the net or out-of-bounds. It was happening to her again.Ramirez, who has three more years of collegiate tennis experience than Hansen, jogged up to the frustrated freshman to cheer her up. “All good,” the senior said. It was just their second time playing together this season.Ramirez and Hansen high-fived and returned to their respective positions. Despite the error from Hansen, the match didn’t count in the end. On court two, right next to the senior-freshman duo, Treshcheva and Golubovskaya clinched the doubles point.Despite just one win in doubles against unranked Louisville to break its five-game losing streak, Syracuse begins ranked play against top-20 teams for the majority of March. When asked if the doubles lineup would stick, Limam didn’t have a direct answer.“Don’t jinx it,” Limam said. Commentslast_img read more