Radon exposure at home

Oct 08

Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that is a by-product of uranium decay. It can be found in rocks, soil, and water, and can penetrate your home through fissures and cracks in the basement walls and crawl spaces. Although radon has been used for different medical and scientific purposes, exposure to it may result in different health complications.

One of the most fatal health effect commonly associated with radon exposure is lung cancer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 21,000 die in the country because of radon-induced lung cancer every year. However, these deaths due to radon exposure could have been prevented if occupants have been vigilant enough to test their home for radon exposure. Unfortunately, according to the website of The Seegmiller Law Firm (view website), you may notice that there can still be negligent property owners who refuse to have their home tested for radon and repaired to cut cost.

There are many ways on how radon may enter your home, here are some of them:

  • Cracks, gaps, or fissures in basement floors and walls
  • Cracks in crawlspaces
  • Construction joints
  • Water supplies (ex. private wells)

When moving into a new home or renting, it is imperative to get your home tested first for radon exposure, even if the property owner insists that the house has no problem with radon. While radon levels vary from one place to another, it is never safe to assume that this radioactive gas only affects certain areas of the country. The only way to know if your home is safe is by getting it tested.

However, living in a house with radon problems doesn’t mean abandoning your home altogether. Many homeowners have been able to fix their radon problems. You only need to contact qualified and professional radon experts in your locality to know what should be done to decrease the level of radon in your home.

Read More

Some Facts about Selling Your Mineral Rights

Jun 04

A landsman trying to get you to lease out or sell mineral rights to your land may have approached you at some point. You are interested in selling your mineral rights, but you are not exactly sure what they are and if own them. Here are some facts for you.

Mineral rights or property is the area beneath the surface land that may or may not contain substances that has market value. It could be gold, silver or copper; it could be uranium or talc; it could be oil, gas, or coal. It could be nothing at all. If your mineral rights are in a good area, you could sell them for a good price even if later it turns out it does not have any minerals at all.

Ownership of mineral rights is not always straightforward. One person could own the surface as well as mineral rights; in some cases, there are separate owners. In other cases, the mineral rights may not march alongside the surface land.

The type of mineral can also affect the scope of ownership. Hard rock minerals are static; they stay in one place with respect to the surface. There may be disputes when two owners share the hard rock, but that is usually easily to resolve. Mineral rights are just like real estate property, so resolving disputes follow the same rules.

However, hydrocarbons are not so sedentary, with the exception of coal. Gas and oil move under the surface, so it can be difficult to establish who owns the extracted gas or oil. In most cases, the rules of capture applies. This means that whoever extracts it can own it. However, if there is already a claim for a specific area prior to extraction, then this defines the parameters of the rights. This is why it is important to know what minerals might be lurking under the surface. If you have oil or gas under there, you should make a claim right away so no one else can extract it.

Selling your mineral rights can be a complicated business. It may be better to leave it to a reputal mineral auction company that will help you establish your ownership, the right price for your rights, and the right buyers.

Read More

Examples of Different Dangerous Consumer Products

Jun 03

It seems that you can’t take a couple of steps before you encounter yet another set of dangerous consumer products. Today it is an antipsychotic drug; tomorrow it is the powdered sugar in doughnuts.

Dunkin’ Donuts recently announced that they would be changing the recipe of their products to remove the titanium dioxide they add to the powdered sugar because there is a possibility that it is toxic. Titanium dioxide is a coloring agent usually added to brighten white products. The franchise decided to yield to public pressure before there was any definite proof of a health danger.

However, not all companies are so proactive. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is supposed to police these companies for just such dangerous products. The reality is, the CPSC does not have the resources to do this effectively, and rely on manufacturers and retailers to self-report. These companies should at least warn the public about any risks or dangers of using their products, no matter how unsubstantiated.

Juries are saying just that in the two recent verdicts against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson& Johnson that produces antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Both juries found that Janssen failed to warn the public that long-term use of Risperdal could cause gynecomastia, or the overdevelopment of male breasts in young men. According to the Williams Kherkher website, it is just one of the side effects of Risperdal.

It is important to remember that dangerous products are not just found in commercial food or prescription products. There are many consumer products that have lead, BPA, or other toxic products. The scary thing is many of these products are for or found around children.

If a dangerous consumer product has seriously harmed you because of a company’s negligence, you have the right to compensation. Contact a personal injury or dangerous products lawyer in your area for more information.

Read More

Balayage and Ombre: Hair Coloring the 21st Century Way

Jun 02

Back in the day, dyeing your hair was a closely kept secret. You did not want anybody to know that you had to resort to chemicals to keep the gray at bay, or to hide the fact that you are an unfashionable brunette. Fast forward to the 21st Century and people are flaunting the fact that they have their hair colored, and falling over themselves to get at the latest color trends.

Not so long ago, the solid color job was all there was. And then came foil highlights. Now, master colorists are coming up with clever, more natural looks that have survived several seasons of overexposure as celebrities make the trends trendier. The most sustained of these are ombré and balayage. Yes, they sound exotic, but the look is all natural as seen in the gallery on the Therapy Hair Studio website. More importantly, they are low maintenance, which means they are probably in for the long haul.

The biggest problem of people who change their natural hair color is hair growth. A couple of months after color treatment, the roots start poking up, spoiling the party for the rest of the gang. To address this, colorists started trying out the ombré technique. This is quite simply coloring the hair in gradations, leaving the top dark and the ends lighter. This works wonderfully for those who have naturally dark hair. Because this is a freehand technique, the effect ranges from stark contrast to natural fade, depending on the artist’s touch. A variation of the ombré called somber (for subtle ombré) simply starts the color application higher, about two inches from the roots. Even if the hair grows out, there is no need for a touch-up because the effect stays the same.

Balayage is also a low maintenance look that is the perfect color treatment for summer. The term means “to sweep” and it is a freehand technique of applying color using a dip-and-dye method. The result is alternating light and dark ribbons of hair, giving the hair a softer, sun-kissed look, and hair can grow out as fast as it likes without spoiling the effect. These techniques are beloved, but who knows what the future of hair coloration holds?

Read More

Facts about Foreclosure in Iowa

Jun 01

The foreclosure laws in Iowa can be confusing. This is because while the majority of foreclosures are judicial (goes through a civil lawsuit), lenders can choose nonjudicial foreclosure if the property is nonagricultural not occupied by the owner. However, if you are subject to judicial foreclosure, then you can more easily fight a foreclosure.

In a judicial foreclosure, the lender is required to sue you in civil court to begin the foreclosure process. Since you are already a defendant, your Cedar Rapids foreclosure defense lawyer can immediately begin mounting a defense instead of having to file your own lawsuit against the lender.

You will know that your lender is suing you because you will be served with a summons and complaint, which your lawyer must respond to in order to contest the lawsuit. Interestingly, the lender has then to prove to the judge that the foreclosure is legal and justified. The lender has to produce all the documents you signed and provide an accounting of payments made and missed, as well as sworn affidavits that you are in default, that the lender complied with foreclosure laws, and how the lender acquired the mortgage.

Your lawyer’s job is to scrutinize and point out any errors in the paperwork or violations of the lender in writing to the court. If the judge accepts that you have grounds for challenging the foreclosure, then you will have the opportunity to present your own sworn statements about the evidence. The judge will then schedule a hearing when both sides can argue their cases. The judge can decide the case based on the documents presented, or may decide to schedule an evidentiary hearing because the evidence presented is not enough.

At the end of the hearings, the judge may decide to let the foreclosure to proceed, or dismiss the case. In the latter case, the lender will have to start the process from step one. In either case, it gives you time to come up with something to avoid foreclosure, such as coming up with the money to reinstate your mortgage, or filing for bankruptcy.

Read More

The Facts about a Personal Injury Lawsuit

May 31

It may seem to you that everybody is suing everybody else for personal injury, but that is not the case at all. For one thing, it is not at all easy, or cheap, to sue anyone and it takes a lot of time besides. It is not true that all you have to do is hire a lawyer and you just sit back and wait for developments. Your lawyer will need input for you, and the defendant may do a thorough background check on you. It could get embarrassing or uncomfortable.

However, when serious injury is involved, it may be worth the trouble. According to the Abel Law Firm website, the effects of serious physical or mental injury can be devastating. At the very least, you will need financial help to get through it, and in most cases, it involves a personal injury lawsuit.

If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, there are three things you need. You need to prove that someone was at fault, you sustained a serious injury, and there was a breach of duty of care. As pointed out on the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, this is easier said than done. However, if you have a good case, you should have a good chance of success.

When you do decide to sue, you need to know that it is easier if you get a lawyer with a personal injury practice in the same area. This is because laws on personal injury differ from state to state. For example, if you live in Killeen or the surrounding towns, you probably want to talk with Killeen personal injury attorneys. You may not get the best results if you retain a corporate lawyer from another state. This is especially true if you are planning to sue a big corporation.

If you feel you have no choice but to ask for compensation for your personal injury, you should take the time to find a really good lawyer. As many personal injury lawyers only accept payment when they win, they will not take on a case if it has no merit. Your initial consultation should be free, so you do not have to worry about that.

Read More

Defining a Seismic Hazard Zone in the NHD report

May 30

California is regularly inundated with natural disasters, and some areas are more likely to be affected than others are. As a result, the state government has established hazard zones and indicated them in special maps. The government has also required all property sellers in the state to provide prospective buyers with a Natural Hazard Disclosure or NHD report.

The NHD report became a requirement when the Natural Hazards Disclosure Act took effect on June 1, 1998. The NHD report may be based on the Natural Hazards Disclosure Statement form or the Local Option Real Estate Disclosure Statement provided under the California Civil Code (§1102.6c or §1102.6a, respectively). One of the inclusions in either one of these reports is the seismic hazard zone.

A seismic hazard zone is an area that is likely to have landslides and liquefaction occur in the event of an earthquake. Liquefaction refers to the breakdown of waterlogged soil. Geologists determine the zones based on the composition and nature of the soil and rock of a particular area. Areas of weakness are prone to failure when an earthquake hits. Any structure built on that location is likely to sustain heavy damage unless it has been specially designed and built to withstand these events.

The State Geologist issues Seismic Hazard Zone maps to the affected city or county agencies, which in turn can use the information to control the development of real estate and oversee the construction of structures. In general, single dwellings of two stories or less are not required to comply with state regulations. However, local agencies may still require sellers of these properties to provide buyers with a copy of the NHD report.

The NHD report can be filled out by the seller, but it requires the seller to go to the various agencies to ascertain if the property is in one of the six hazard zones specified in the report. There are reliable companies that provide this service for a minimal fee.

Read More

Documents You Need for Alzheimer’s Disease Planning

May 25

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common ailment among the elderly. About 44 million people in the world live with it as of 2014, with 210,000 in Illinois alone. It is like a thief in the night, slowly robbing the patient of the ability to remember, learn, and think. People with AD typically live between 3 and 9 years more after diagnosis, and during that time, the degeneration can be hard to bear for those who care for them.

Early diagnosis of AD can help push back the onset of the disease, but there is no cure for it. Because it erodes the mind, there will come a time when patients can no longer make decisions about their own care and their finances. This is the reason why it is important to do Alzheimer’s Disease Planning as soon as possible after diagnosis.

Illinois enacted the Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Act to address the needs of its stricken citizens. However, it is a work in progress, and according to the 2014 State of Illinois Alzheimer’s Disease Annual Survey, less than 5% of respondents believed the state government was handling it adequately. People diagnosed with AD have to take matter into their own hands.

You can do AD planning without a lawyer, but the advice and assistance of an elderly lawyer can be invaluable. There are some excellent elderly law attorneys in Chicago that can help you with this issue as well as other legal matters. However, you do need to give your lawyer copies of some documents to do your AD planning. These include:

  • A list of the names and contact information of close relatives, caregivers, accountants, financial managers, business partners, and domestic partners
  • A list of your assets such as bank accounts, real estate, and other tangible property
  • Estate plans, wills, trusts, and powers of attorney
  • Healthcare plans or agreements
  • Income tax returns
  • Insurance policies
  • Real estate deeds

AD is devastating enough to your closest and dearest. Do not add to it by forcing them to make hard decisions. Have your lawyer draw up a plan according to your wishes that considers everything. This should include healthcare and financial issues.

Read More