radon exposure

Radon Exposure is the Second-Leading Cause of Lung Cancer

radon exposureJanuary is National Radon Month for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (www.epa.gov). Radon is an odorless, colorless gas which can accumulate and become trapped in your home. Many people are exposed to high levels of radon without even knowing it. Radon exposure has been linked to lung cancer and is estimated to be responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.

Many believe that radon exposure is only a problem in certain countries. However, the EPA notes that high levels of radon can be found in every state in the United States. While it may only be found in certain areas, the only way to know if you and your family are safe is to perform a simple and inexpensive in-home radon test.

Radon can enter your home from the ground soil that your house is built on and can even contaminate water wells. Just because your neighbor has tested clear for radon buildup, that does not mean you are safe. Testing is recommended for every home.

According to former United States Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, “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.” Dr. Carmona continued, “It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”

While some scientists dispute the toll radon is taking on the United States public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association have all agreed with current estimates that every year thousands of people die from lung cancer from exposure to radon.

Radon Tests Are Easy and Inexpensive

Special test kits are required to detect radon in your home because of its odorless and colorless properties. The kits can be purchased at your local hardware store or at many nationwide chain home improvement stores. Once you follow the instructions and the test is complete, you simply mail the kit to back to the manufacturer for the results.

State and local governments are also testing schools and public housing developments for radon levels and will take appropriate corrective action if necessary.

If higher-than-recommended radon levels are found in your home, a radon mitigation system can be put in place to remove any danger to you and your family. It is recommended that a certified or qualified radon mitigation contractor be used to address your radon issue as improper repair systems can actually make the problem worse.

Visit the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/radon/ for additional information on detecting and fixing radon issues in your home.

Recommended Resources
http://news.consumerreports.org/home/2013/01/one-in-15-homes-has-dangerously-elevated-radon-levels.html
http://www.epa.gov/radon/