Timothy N. Tarrant
Module 5:
BHE 314
Environmental Health and Safety
Dr. Rania Sabty-Daily
15 September 2008

The first purpose of this paper is to discuss the public health
effects that may result in a community exposed to noise produced by a night
club and to describe the restrictions you would I would recommend the city
requires the new nightclub meets before granting an approval. The
following scenario will be used:
I have been notified that there is a case before City Council to
approve a new nightclub in my neighborhood. The club owners have a
reputation for being insensitive to those who live nearby in the

The second purpose of this paper is to identify potential human health
risks associated with living in a home where radon gas levels may be high.

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Additionally, I will identify methods available to test for radon gas in
the home and list corrective/remediation measures that can be taken to
reduce radon levels in the home. The following scenario will be used:
Radon gas emits Alpha particles which may cause lung cancer if inhaled
by an individual. Friends of yours are purchasing a new home in an
area where you understand that radon gas may be common.

Almost everyone is familiar with water and air pollution and the
environmental concerns associated with them. However, noise pollution is
also of concern as our cities continue to grow at an alarming rate. It
seams as if whenever you venture out into the public you are forced to
endure a variety of community noises. Have you ever sat down to enjoy
dinner or a movie and have been interrupted by the sound of a loud train or
plane? Well, these deep rumblings are similar to the sounds that will be
produced by the nightclub that wants to operate within our community.

“Some types of indoor concerts and discotheques can produce extremely high
sound pressure levels. Associated noise problems outdoors result from
customers arriving and leaving. Outdoor concerts, fireworks and various
types of festivals can also produce intense noise. The general problem of
access to festivals and leisure activity sites often adds to road traffic
noise problems. Severe hearing impairment may also arise from intense sound
produced as music in headphones or from children’s toys.” (WHO, 1999)
Hearing impairment is the most often thought about health effect from noise
pollution; however, there is a variety of health effects on the human body
associated 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 also
disturbs sleep, upsets our mental health, and even poses a danger to
childhood development. Arlene L. Bronzaft, a member of the New York’s
Council on the Environment, stated, “I get many calls related to noise and
most assuredly these people are very much troubled by the noises, whether
from a loud, noisy neighborhood bar or a neighbor who refuses to keep the
stereo low. The anguish these people express clearly speaks to a “poorer
stat of mind.” (Bronzaft, 1996) People exposed to noise during the night
often turn to the use of sedatives or sleeping pills to fall asleep.

Individuals in the community that are especially prone to sleep
disturbances from noises that may emanate from a nightclub include the
elderly and shift workers. (WHO, 1999) My recommendations to the City
Council would be to recommend approval of the license for the operation of
the nightclub only if they comply with certain restrictions. First and
foremost I would recommend that the club is designed to be soundproof to
inside noise so that noise that escapes the club will be minimal to the
community surroundings. Then, I would make it mandatory for the club to
install limiters on all amplified systems to limit low frequency noise.

Additionally, I would require that the club keep door to the entrance of
the club closed unless patrons are actively entering or exiting the
establishment and the club should provide 10 square feet of indoor waiting
space for patrons waiting to gain access to the club. This will limit the
amount of noise that actually escapes the club. “The Office of
Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) identifies 90 decibels (dB) based on
an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA) as the absolute “safe” level of
noise exposure. This 90dB concentration is referred to as the OSHA
Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for noise exposure. Any eight-hour TWA
exceeding 90dB requires the employer to implement control measures to
reduce the exposure to 90dB or below.” (LSS, 2008) OSHA also states that
exposure to impulsive noise should not exceed 140 dB but do not define
impulsive noise. Therefore, I would have the club install a sound meter to
monitor the dB levels in the club and mandate that the club does not exceed
100 decibels (dB).Additionally, I would require the club to create a
quiet room for employees to “rest their ears” during breaks.Lastly, I
would recommend that the state public health department be granted
unfettered access to monitor the nightclub for compliance.

Radon 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. More
than 20,000 Americans die each year from radon related cancer. In a 2005
news release, United States Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona stated,
“Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United
States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant
health risk to families all over the county.” (DHHS, 2005) Exposure to
radon gas produces no immediate symptoms. According to the North Carolina
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Lung cancer is the only
health effect which has been definitively linked with exposure to radon and
the resulting cancer does not usually occur until 5-25 years post exposure.

Additionally, “There is no evidence that other respiratory diseases, such
as asthma, are caused by radon exposure and there is no evidence that
children are at any greater risk of radon induced lung cancer than adults.”
(NC, 2008) Radon exposure is completely preventable and can be detected by
simply testing for its presence. I would recommend that my friends that
were purchasing a new home become familiar with “A Citizen’s Guide to
Radon: The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon” from
the Environmental Protection Agency. The Surgeon General recommends that
all homes should be tested for radon and testing can be accomplished by
either yourself or a professional. I would also let them know that there
are 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 a
home 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 are
able to give you an accurate reading of the average annual radon level
whereas the short-term test will not. Radon detectors can be purchased
that are just like smoke detectors that alarm when levels reach
unacceptable limits. Radon levels should be below 4 pCi/L; if above this
level, measures should be taken to reduce existing radon levels and limit
exposure. The overall radon level in homes is 0 pCi/L, this may not be
possible but should be at least reduced to 2 pCi/L. First I would
recommend that my friends ask if the home has radon resistant features. If
not and levels are high corrective measures can be taken to reduce exposure
to radon. The method most often used to reduce radon in the home is a vent
pipe system and fan. This takes radon from below the house and channels it
to the outside of the house. Other measures include sealing cracks in the
foundation, floors, and walls. Regardless of when your home was built, you
should check your home for radon initially and at least every 2 years.

Discounted radon test kits are available from the National Safety Council
and many home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowes sell radon
test kits. More information can be obtained from their state radon office.

(EPA, 2008)
Bronzaft, A. L. (1996). The increase in noise pollution: what are the
health effects? – The Harmful Effects of Noise. Retrieved September 8,
2008 from
Laboratory Safety and Supplies (2008). Elements of an Effective Hearing
Conservation Program. Retrieved September 8, 2008 from
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (2008). NC
Radon Program: Health Risks of Radon. Retrieved September 8, 2008
U.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
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2008). Radon. Retrieved September 8,
2008 from
World 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


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