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Radon: Invisible Killer

Radon: Invisible Killer

Ginger Collins died of lung cancer in February. Her family believes the cause of Collins' disease can be attributed to exposure to radon, a colorless, odorless natural gas that is fairly common in Western Virginia.

PEARISBURG -- For more than 30 years, Ginger Collins worked, prayed and raised her three daughters in the ranch-style brick house she and her husband built atop Bunker Hill.

Little did she know that something inside her workplace, her refuge, her life, was slowly killing her.

Collins died in February of lung cancer. She was 58.

Thing is, "Mama never smoked a day in her life," said Collins' youngest daughter, Tina Steele.

Collins' family believes that their beloved mother, wife and sister fell victim to radon, a naturally occurring gas that is the No. 2 leading cause of lung cancer -- second only to cigarette smoke.

Scientists May Have Found Quake Warning Signal

Scientists may have found a way to predict earthquakes.

According to a team of NASA and Russian space and physical scientists, in the days before the March 11 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, the atmosphere directly above the epicenter rapidly heated up.

In a presentation at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, the researchers presented data indicating that starting on March 3, the electron count in the ionosphere – the upper part of the atmosphere – increased dramatically.

The count reached its peak three days before the temblor struck.

"Our first results show that on March 8th a rapid increase of emitted infrared radiation was observed from the satellite data," said Dimitar Ouzounov.

Ouzounov and others think movements and stress in the earth can set off a complex series of detectable physical and chemical changes in the atmosphere and ionosphere.

National Healthy Homes Conference to Address Risks from Asthma to Bedbugs

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2011 -- /PRNewswire/ -- All across America, there are homes that can actually harm those who live in them. From lead-based paint that can poison children, to cancer-causing radon, to cockroach and bedbug infestations. Next month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is hosting a National Healthy Homes Conference in Denver that will explore the latest research and interventions from dozens of public health, housing, and environmental experts from more than 200 organizations.

From June 20-23, these experts will present findings on how to produce healthier housing for people living with disabilities, including a growing number of adults with autism who are confronted with the lack of supportive housing options.

2011 International Radon Symposium Registration

2011 International Radon Symposium Registration

Online Registration Is Now Available for the 2011 International Radon Symposium, Save these Dates: October 16-19, 2011 for the Hilton Orlando Resort - Beuna Vista, Florida -- Network with Professional Radon Colleagues; Fulfill Your C.E. Requirements at the Hilton Orlando In Buena Vista (Orlando) Florida. Register now for what promises to be a fun and empowering event right across the Street from Disney World Downtown Orlando!

Hotel Accommodations: Make this a Destination Vacation Too!
This year, you can come early to the Hotel and Stay late for the same Symposium discounted rate but please register for your hotel EARLY.

Important Dates to Note:

September 15, 2011 - Deadline for Early Bird Symposium Registration Discount

MSU Professor Aims to Educate Montanans About Health Hazards of Radon

MSU Professor Aims to Educate Montanans About Health Hazards of Radon

When Laura Larsson moved to Montana from Oregon in 1998, she had no clue what radon was.

Today the 39-year-old mother and professor is well-educated about the gas and is on a mission to educate others about the potential health hazard.

With the help of a three-year, $350,000 research grant, Larsson, an assistant professor at the College of Nursing at Montana State University, aims to reduce the number of radon-related lung cancer illnesses and associated deaths.

Larsson learned about radon, an odorless, tasteless, cancer-causing carcinogen, when she had a baby in 2001. Colleagues advised her to have her house checked for radon before bringing the infant home. She discovered the quantity was more than three times the acceptable level.

“I thought, ‘Holy cow, I better get this fixed,’ “ Larsson said. She did, but her interest was piqued.

Radon is found throughout Montana. Regions of the state where concentrations are high depend on geology.

Blood Test for Lung Cancer? Characteristic Patterns in microRNA Reveal Disease

Researchers have identified characteristic patterns of molecules called microRNA (miRNA) in the blood of people with lung cancer that might reveal both the presence and aggressiveness of the disease, and perhaps who is at risk of developing it. These patterns may be detectable up to two years before the tumor is found by computed tomography (CT) scans.

The findings could lead to a blood test for lung cancer, according to a researcher with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute who helped lead study.

"We found patterns of abnormal microRNAs in the plasma of people with lung cancer and showed that it might be possible to use these patterns to detect lung cancer in a blood sample," says principal investigator Dr. Carlo M. Croce, professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, and director of the Human Cancer Genetics program.

Radon Study Participants Recognized

Radon Study Participants Recognized

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2011) − Boyle County homeowners who participated in a University of Kentucky College of Nursing radon study earlier this year were recently recognized at a reception hosted by UK's Radon Policy Research Program. The purpose of the reception was to recognize the recipients of the free home mitigation systems and to provide all the study participants with additional information on radon and the mitigation process.

The "Test and Win" study involved recruiting Boyle County homeowners who were interested in testing their homes for radon, an odorless, colorless, naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is known to cause lung cancer in humans. Eligible participants completed an online survey, received free radon test kits, tested their homes for radon and returned the test kits for analysis.

Beware the Radon Menace that Creeps into Your Home

For more than a year, I lived with a quiet, invisible potential killer in my Northeast area home.

Instead of tackling the problem, I did improvements like planting flowers, lawn work, reroofing, caulking and tearing out wall-to-wall carpet to strip and refinish the oak woodwork.

An inspection when I bought the house revealed that I needed to take care of one major improvement that until this year I put off. The inspector found that the radon level in the house was 14. Four is acceptable.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that the Environmental Protection Agency has identified as the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the U.S. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that results from the breakdown of radioactive material in soil.

Above and Beyond the Home Inspection

Above and Beyond the Home Inspection

Buyers face big expenses when they don't discover these common problems

Mice, mold and leaking bathtubs are among the last discoveries homebuyers want to make after moving into a new home. But that's exactly what a client of Oakland, Calif.-based financial planner Cathy Curtis found shortly after closing.

"The first week she moved in, she emailed me in a panic that there are mice, she needs a new furnace, and the ducts, bathtubs and kitchen cabinets need to be replaced," said Curtis. Total cost to fix everything: tens of thousands of dollars. "I'm surprised that more of this didn't come up in the inspection," she said.

Home inspections, it turns out, are much more limited than many first-time buyers realize.

Why Test for Radon When Buying a Home?

Why Test for Radon When Buying a Home?

Lisa Loper, member of the Scott Loper Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Harleysville discusses why homebuyers should test for radon and how Montgomery County stacks up compared to neighboring counties

Besides a general home inspection and a termite inspection, the next most common test performed by homebuyers is a radon test. It is a simple test where the air quality is measured for the span of 2-3 days (longer term tests are available). The cost typically runs between $100 and $125 and it is money well spent.

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and can get into your home through cracks or other holes in the foundation (even if you don’t have a basement). Your home can trap and accumulate radon causing the levels to be elevated within your home.