If you are buying a new home or thinking of redoing your old countertops. You might need to think harder about granite. I know we are planning on redoing our countertops, between cost and and something that is "green" makes the decision hard. But this article from the NY Times might make you think a little harder.
SHORTLY before Lynn Sugarman of Teaneck, N.J., bought her summer home in Lake George, N.Y., two years ago, a routine inspection revealed it had elevated levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. So she called a radon measurement and mitigation technician to find the source.
“He went from room to room,” said Dr. Sugarman, a pediatrician. But he stopped in his tracks in the kitchen, which had richly grained cream, brown and burgundy granite countertops. His Geiger counter indicated that the granite was emitting radiation at levels 10 times higher than those he had measured elsewhere in the house.
“My first thought was, my pregnant daughter was coming for the weekend,” Dr. Sugarman said. When the technician told her to keep her daughter several feet from the countertops just to be safe, she said, “I had them ripped out that very day,” and sent to the state Department of Health for analysis. The granite, it turned out, contained high levels of uranium, which is not only radioactive but releases radon gas as it decays. “The health risk to me and my family was probably small,” Dr. Sugarman said, “but I felt it was an unnecessary risk.”
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I just received a copy of this wonderful new movie by Ina May Gaskin. The movie has 11 different births in it and what is most powerful is the commentary by the professionals. Their comments are truly thought provoking. Don't let the title confuse you, it about women putting the pleasure back into childbirth.
Marsden Wagner, MD, former Director of Women’s and Children’s Health for the World Health Organization. He says in the film:
Very clear hard evidence in the last 10 years [shows that] the number of women who are induced—that is, their labor is kick-started—is doubling. You kick-start labor by giving them a powerful drug. And then you give them more drugs to keep the labor going. Now, there are about five to ten percent of women in which there's a good medical reason to do this, and you’re saving lives and all that. But if you go above ten percent, you’re not saving lives anymore. These are powerful drugs with all kinds of risks, including brain damage to the baby, a dead baby, a dead woman. And yet we do it twice as much [as we used to]. And there’s so much pain in induction—incredible pain. And so they have to come with all the pain relief and the epidurals and all of that. So we get induction, leading to epidural, which leads to cesarean. And that is what’s happening in this country. Now, why? Did something happen? Did American women’s bodies suddenly go bad? Did American women’s bodies suddenly lose the ability to figure out when it’s time to go into labor? Goodness, no! You know, why do 60 to 80 percent of American women have to have powerful drugs and interventions to their bodies? Well, it has nothing to do with there being anything wrong with their body. And it’s not because of bad doctors. It's a bad system.
This movie I think helps empower women to once again believe in their bodies. To trust ourselves. . .