Tag Archives: EPA

Get Your Home Tested For This Silent Killer

This month is National Radon Action Month, and DHEC is encouraging all South Carolinians to test their homes for the silent killer.

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and the No. 1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

Any home can have a radon gas problem. The only way to determine if your home is trapping radon is to test.

Quick Facts about Radon

  • Breathing in radon can change the cells in your lungs, which increases your chances for getting lung cancer.
  • Radon is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S.
  • Smokers who are exposed to radon have a much higher risk of lung cancer.
  • Elevated radon concentrations have been found across South Carolina.
  • Radon levels as high as 70.0 pCi/L and higher have been found in South Carolina.
  • Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels.
  • Homes can be modified to reduce radon levels.
  • New homes can be built with radon-resistant features.
  • South Carolina has nationally certified radon professionals who can measure radon and fix homes with elevated radon.

The South Carolina Radon Program provides radon test kits to homeowners free of charge. Request your free home test kit at www.scdhec.gov/radon. The program can be contacted at radon@dhec.sc.gov or (800) 768-0362.

From Other Blogs: Holiday leftovers, winter safety, food labels & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Holiday Leftovers? We’ve Got You Covered!

All good things must come to an end, including the holidays. But leftovers from your holiday celebrations can help stretch out y our holiday cheer. —  From the EPA Blog

Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults. — From the CDC’s Your Health – Your Environment Blog

NCEH/ATSDR – Top 10 “Your Health, Your Environment” Blog Posts of 2017

As another year draws to a close, perhaps you’ve realized that you didn’t get a chance to read all of the “Your Health, Your Environment” blog posts. To help you get caught up, here are the ten most popular posts of 2017.  — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health – Your Environment blog

Both Government and Private Company Food Labels Have Tradeoffs

For more than a century, American families have used government-regulated food labels, such as “USDA prime beef,” to help them decide what food products to buy. Today, consumers also look to food labels for information about how their food was grown and how healthy it is. — From the U.S. Department of Agriculture blog

When the holidays aren’t so happy

Gifts and celebrations, parties and lights, what’s not to like? Right?

But for some, the holiday season does not always feel festive and bright.

Here are five factors that can make maintaining the holiday spirit a struggle. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Don’t Waste Your Holiday Food

By Adrianna Bradley

The holiday season is upon us and many of us are spending time with friends and family at holiday parties enjoying tasty dishes that we only indulge in once a year.

It’s all too easy to waste food around this time of year when our eating routines are all over the place. This year, we challenge you not to toss your holiday leftovers!

Cut down on food waste

Food waste is the No. 1 item thrown away by Americans, accounting for 21.6 percent of the nation’s waste in 2014, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  South Carolina produced over 600, 000 tons of food waste in fiscal year (FY) 2016 (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016).

This holiday we encourage you to join the fight to cut down on food waste in our state. Send your guests home with leftovers in a reusable container. This not only helps clean out your fridge but it also keeps you from being stuck with a fridge full of leftovers that could go bad before you can eat it all. But make sure that your guest does not waste their leftovers too! It’s also helpful to allow self-serving so each person fixes the right amount of food they can consume without throwing it out.

If you’ve tired yourself out from creating new recipes with your leftovers, try feeding people instead of our landfills. In case you didn’t know, one in eight Americans struggle with hunger — including nearly 800,000 South Carolinians — according to Feeding America. Food donation is a great way to provide surplus food to those who need it while recycling your leftovers. Besides, isn’t this time of year also the season for giving?

Give composting a try

If you cannot donate or reuse your leftover, try composting it. Sending food waste to a composting facility or composting at home can improve soil health and structure, increase water retention, support native plants and reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides.

As you can see, there are several options to avoid sending things to our state’s landfills. It’s important that we Don’t Waste Food SC.

From Other Blogs: Flu vaccine, tips to help you quit smoking, environmental justice & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Everyone can be a flu vaccine advocate!

With the holidays quickly approaching, there will be more opportunities to spend time with family and friends.  Now is the time to ensure that you and those around you are protected from flu. Now is the time to get your seasonal flu vaccine if you haven’t already gotten it. — From the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Public Health Matters blog

Preparing to quit: 10 tips to help you quit smoking

Each year, on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to quit during the Great American Smokeout. Most people who smoke want to quit, but they also know quitting is hard…it can take several attempts to succeed. Here are some tips to help you quit for good … — From the CDC’s Public Health Matters blog

25 Years of Environmental Justice at the EPA

For a quarter of a century, the EPA has worked to address the environmental and public health concerns of minority, low-income and indigenous communities.  I have been blessed to be a part of this effort since its first steps. The Agency’s decision to establish the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ), initially called the Office of Environmental Equity, stemmed from the recommendations of the EPA Environmental Equity Work Group, which was formed by Administrator Bill Reilly in 1990 to “review the evidence that racial minority and low-income communities bear a disproportionate risk burden.”  — From The EPA Blog

Have A Food-Safe Holiday Season

Last year, more than 46 million turkeys were carved and eaten at Thanksgiving. Turkey is typically accompanied by a host of side dishes and desserts, making the Thanksgiving meal by far one of the largest meals most people will cook this year. — From the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Blog

DHEC in the News: New EPA Region 4 Administrator, drug arrest, pregnant women’s vitamin D levels

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

EPA Announces Appointment of Trey Glenn to Region 4 Administrator

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the appointment of Trey Glenn of Alabama to become Regional Administrator for EPA’s Southeast Region (Region 4).  Mr. Glenn will employ his 22 years of environmental and regulatory experience in leading the environmental protection efforts across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Conway Dentist Charged With Obtaining Drugs for Personal Use

Conway, S.C. (WPDE) — A Conway dentist has been arrested for violating drug distribution laws and obtaining drugs for his own personal use.

General Interest

Boosting pregnant women’s vitamin D levels may decrease risk of premature births: study 

Every day, more than 1,000 babies are born prematurely across North America. But new research suggests that many of those early deliveries could be avoided by boosting pregnant women’s vitamin D levels.

A new study from South Carolina involving more than 1,000 pregnant women found that up to 90 per cent of them had a vitamin D deficiency. The problem was especially pronounced among African-American and Hispanic women, researchers found.