Saturday, July 26, 2008

High Gas Prices Save Lives, Kitchen Countertops Can Kill

Unintentional deaths are the leading cause of death for those under thirty-five with the most common due to motor vehicle accidents. Newspapers around the country noted that high gas prices have decreased the number of traffic deaths. Naturally one could assume that the number of those injured from accidents have probably fallen as well. This means that if healthcare costs should rise less than expected next year could it be because of decreased utilization of emergency rooms and doctor visits because of fewer motor vehicle accidents?

Of course in other news, more people as a result of high fuel costs are biking, taking golf carts, or scooters, as their mode of transportation. Is it possible the number of lives saved may be simply shifting to other ways of getting around? Too early to tell.

Certainly none of us expect our kitchen countertops to kill us, but an article from the NY Times found that inferior types of granite contained high levels of the radioactive substance uranium. Not only is the element radioactive, which in of itself is a concern, but it also emits the carcinogenic gas radon, which has been a risk factor for lung cancer. With homes sealed for energy efficiency, it could make levels even higher. Could this be the reason why many non-smokers are developing lung cancer?

Who would have thought it was more dangerous to be at home in the kitchen rather than on the road?

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