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Tag Archives: silent killer

High radon gas levels in Clare

RADON gas is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and Clare has one of the highest rates of radon in the country, with 18% of monitored houses in the county recording high levels of the gas. On foot of an awareness campaign, the EPA is encouraging householders to check the levels of radon in their homes and take measures to reduce their exposure to the silent killer. Senior scientist with the EPA and manager of the radon and radiation measurements services, David Fenton, said acceptable levels of radon within the home are anything up to 200 units but, in the last 12 months, a recording 10 times that was found in Ennis. “In County Clare, the highest level we found was 3,500 units near Lisdoonvarna in a private house in 2010. The radiation dose that people in that house were receiving would be the equivalent of 12 chest x-rays a day. The more we measure, the more …

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Loneliness a silent killer

There is a largely unacknowledged silent killer of older people – and it’s called loneliness. A 2000 study by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland found that more than eight times the number of older people living alone felt lonely compared to the general population. A European study has linked isolation to mental health problems, including depression and self-harm, (Eurostat 2011), and more recently, a UK survey found that social isolation among older people was associated with increased risk of death. Loneliness may be lethal and is currently affecting at least 25,000 older people in Ireland. This is the number of calls Senior Help Line – Ireland’s only national telephone listening service for older people – received last year. In most calls loneliness was either expressed or implied. On Thursday, the 25th anniversary of UN International Day of Older Persons, the Minister of State Kathleen Lynch will promote the value of contact between people of all ages by joining …

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