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Radon in the News

New Law Requires Landlord/Tenant Dialogue for Elevated Radon Levels

SPRINGFIELD, IL (July 13, 2011) - Recently, Governor Quinn signed an amendment to the Radon Awareness Act which starts a dialogue between tenant and landlord if elevated levels of radon are measured in the rental property. This law protects over 1.4 million Illinois renters (30% of the population) from the first leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers through awareness and prevention education.

"As the leading sponsors for this new legislation, the American Lung Association in Illinois has worked closely with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to inform the public about the dangers of radon," explains Harold Wimmer, President & CEO of the American Lung Association in Illinois. "Due to the synergistic effects between radon and smoking, we are encouraged by this step toward preventing lung disease and cancer."

Simple Steps Can Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

Over the years, the Ithaca Journal has carried dozens of stories about the state Department of Environmental Conservation's remediation of Ithaca's contaminated sites, from industrial pollutants on South Hill to coal tar in Ithaca's flats. Clean-up progress has been invariably slow, and in some locales even the scope of the contamination is not yet fully known.

What is known, however, is that the primary negative impact of these contaminants on human health is related to vapor intrusion through basements and foundations. The concern is that contaminants could enter our bodies through the air we breathe right inside our homes.

In truth, it is not only the contaminants identified by the DEC that are affecting our indoor air quality and our health. There are a number of measures that we can take right now to reduce the risk of breathing in harmful substances inside our homes.

First Nation Plagued by Radon Gas, Says Report

TOBIQUE FIRST NATION - A disturbing new study shows that almost half of the homes in Tobique First Nation are polluted by an invisible, odourless gas that can cause lung cancer.

The band council held a public meeting Tuesday afternoon to answer people's concerns about radon gas.

Two band councillors and several professionals talked about the health risks and what to do to stop the naturally occurring radioactive gas from seeping underground into homes.

Due to overcrowding and the poor state of many of the houses in the Maliseet community, band Coun. Darrah Bear fears up to 700 people could be affected.

"The chief and council are forced to decide between helping someone whose porch just collapsed and someone who's been exposed to radon gas," she said after the meeting at the large bingo hall, clearly frustrated.

"We're looking at the need for emergency relief funding from the federal government."

Healthy Homes: Understanding Housing-Related Hazards

Healthy Homes: Understanding Housing-Related Hazards

There is a growing awareness of the number of illnesses that can be caused by environmental risks in the home.

Everybody’s health is at risk from housing-related hazards, but infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions and disabilities are especially susceptible.

Knowledge of potential hazards in the home is important in the prevention and treatment of the medical conditions they can cause.

Home health hazards include dust, allergens, mold, and pests such as insects and rodents. They also include toxic materials such as lead, asbestos, and chemical pesticides, and poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide and radon. Since some of these hazards are odorless and colorless, they cannot be detected by the human senses alone. That’s why homeowners are encouraged to install detectors in their homes.

Metro Nashville Vows To Continue Testing Schools For Radon

Watch this WTVF-TV news segment.

Metro school officials are using the summer to lower levels of radon gas in classrooms across Davidson County.

Maintenance crews have installed radon fans at three schools and the health department is working to test every school.

The testing came after a NewsChannel 5 investigation revealed that Metro forgot about or ignored a law passed by the Metro council in the late 1980's.

The law requires radon testing at all Metro schools and has now been added to the Metro Code of Laws.

Just this month, the federal government launched a new effort to warn people about the dangers of the odorless, invisible gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Gloria Linnertz knows how deadly the gas can be.

She was by her husband's side when he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Experts Look to Raise Radon Awareness

While many people know what radon is, too many choose to ignore the serious health risks associated with the gas, according to a local radon service professional.

Mike Feldman, of Action Radon Service in Westminster, said in his nearly 30 years of experience with radon, he's found that about two of every three structures in the county he has been called to have elevated levels of radon. He said many additional homes haven't been tested.

"I think most people aren't interested or concerned with radon because they can't see it or taste it or smell it," Feldman said. "Because of that, they ignore it until it becomes a health problem when they could have fixed it a while before it got to that point."

Any home with more than 4 picocuries per liter of radon concentration is considered elevated and action should be taken to reduce radon levels.

Many Indiana Homes Test High for Radon

Many Indiana Homes Test High for Radon

Watch this WTHR news segment.

INDIANAPOLIS - You may be in danger of getting lung cancer and not even know it.

Thousand of Indiana homes are sitting on radon, a colorless, odorless gas that experts say is almost as bad as smoking.

You would think that with something this hazardous and widespread, there would be strict regulations. But in Indiana, there are no requirements to test homes schools or offices for radon. Testing is optional.

That's a scary proposition, considering radon leads to an estimated 21,000 deaths each year. You can't see it or smell it, but if you live with radon long enough, you'll eventually find out if there are high levels in your home.

"It damages your lungs and creates cancer," said Deanna French, radon technician with Micro Air, Inc.

Tender Issued to Remove Radon at Canadian School

Tender Issued to Remove Radon at Canadian School

The South Shore Regional School Board is ordering renovations to an elementary school to remove pervasive levels of radon gas.

The radon was first detected at Hebbville Academy, just outside Bridgewater, after the province ordered testing in March 2010 of all public buildings for radon.

Follow-up tests were done this past winter, and results indicated levels of radon were above the guidelines for school hours.

The tender to fix the radon problem was issued Wednesday.

The elevated levels are not considered an immediate health risk, but dealing with radon is now part of managing public buildings across Nova Scotia.

For Crystal Publicover, the presence of radon gas at her son's school was a surprise, though the school board did make the findings public knowledge.

"I wasn't aware of it. I'm glad the school has stood up and is fixing it. I'm glad because it could cause health problems," said Publicover.

Federal Government Addresses Radon Gas Concerns

Federal Government Addresses Radon Gas Concerns

Watch a news segment.

MARQUETTE, Michigan -- Marquette County is a known hot spot for radon, and a new federal program may help residents keep themselves safe from the deadly gas.

The federal Radon Action Plan is an agency cooperation between federal entities such as the EPA, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defense. The collaboration will emphasize the importance of testing for radon, provide policy and incentive to encourage those with the means to test and mitigate, and build demand for professional services.

Here in the U.P., that could mean federal funding to test homes and protect residents.

"The significance of this new program is that for the first time, multiple federal agencies have come together to attack radon collectively," said Marquette County Health Officer Fred Benzie.

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Radon: How to Test Your Home for the Dangers

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Here's something you may not realize.

The second leading cause of lung cancer is radon. Radon is a gas that you may not know could be very high in your house.It's often times completely undetected until it's too late. There is a way for you to find out in just a few days time.

Radon is colorless, odorless and impossible to see.But that's not to say it's not taking up residence in your home. You can test for it, and you might be surprised with the findings.

"I thought it would be a good idea to check it," said Dr. Jim Blaine. His life has been public health.

"It's a big deal and so many people just don't know about it," he said.

Since Dr. Blaine spends much of his time protecting the community, he's well aware of the potential problems of radon.

But it wasn't until he tested his own house that the radon problem really hit home.

"Ours was at about 18."