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Bill Angell's Personal and Professional Radon Story

Why Do I Care About Radon?

Professional

My interest in radon began in the early 1970s as an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Housing at the University of Minnesota. I was fascinated by scientific reports about elevated indoor radon in Maine homes due to well water transport and in Swedish high rise apartments due to emanation from concrete.

In the latter 1970s, a professional colleague, Susan Leigh, became the Director for Governmental Affairs for the Florida Home Builders Association. Over a number of beers we discussed her members’ frustrations dealing with concerns about developing phosphate-rich lands because of elevated radon.

My Radon Story

Two years ago, I went to the emergency room because of a gall bladder attack and found out through a CT scan that I had Stage 1B lung cancer. Several months later, I had 20% of my left lung removed. Thank God the cancer was caught early. The doctors have told me over and over how lucky I was to have had that gall bladder attack. Otherwise, by the time I would have developed any symptoms, the cancer would have advanced to Stage IV and it would have been too late for treatment.

Having never smoked before nor been exposed to a significant amount of second-hand smoke, I was puzzled as to how I developed lung cancer with no family history of the disease. Upon doing research on the Internet, I was surprised to discover that radon is estimated to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today, and a leading cause of lung cancer in healthy people who have never smoked.

NRAM conference in CT

We've been busy in CT promoting radon awareness, testing and mitigation through a variety of methods, all of which are only possible because of our public and private industry partners. This year, we're overseeing the deliverables of a regional NRAM contract with the American Lung Association (ALA). Using SIRG money, we've asked the ALA to help Region 1 promote radon during the month of January through the media, and in collaboration with each of New England's Radon Program coordinators. The ALA has been busy promoting the EPA PSAs, doing radio spots, and getting press releases published through New England. In addition, they have been busy collaborating with each of the New England Radon Program coordinators, and providing support and assistance (where needed and requested).

Mrs. Georgia Becomes Advocate for Radon Testing

Tiffany Hudak's Radon Leadership Story

Lung cancer is one of those phrases that evoke strong emotions and opinions, yet it is rarely talked about. It is a disease that takes over 150,000 lives annually, yet it is cloaked in guilt, shame and stigma. Having been touched personally by lung cancer, my hope is to utilize the title of Mrs. Georgia to help decrease negative attitudes towards this disease.

Radon Evidence

Only been in this buisness a few short years and have mitigated to date five never smokers that have contracted Lung Cancer. Herd of many others. Emotionally I find these situations very rough. It helps to know I am making a difference but it is still painful.