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Radon in the News

Is Your House Giving You Cancer?

Is Your House Giving You Cancer?

Watch this WHSV news segment.

Radon is something you can't see or smell but, you need to know about to keep your family safe.

It's a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is likely in your home and specialists say one in three homes in the Valley have unsafe levels.

The rocky soil in the area makes homes, businesses and apartment buildings more susceptible.

The radon comes from decaying uranium and thorium, which exist naturally in the soil and rocks.

Continuously breathing in unsafe levels of radon is the equivalent of smoking numerous cigarettes per day.

Keith Micallef, the owner of Accurate Home Inspections and a Certified Radon Specialist, says he has seen more people testing.

Federal Agencies Join Efforts to Reduce Radon Exposure

Radon exposure is the leading cause of non-smoking lung cancer

WASHINGTON – January is National Radon Action Month and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and eight other federal agencies are announcing a new effort to strengthen the fight against radon exposure. Radon exposure is the leading cause of non-smoking lung cancer. Senior leaders from the federal agencies are pledging to work together to create a national risk reduction plan for radon that will help save lives and create safer, healthier homes for all Americans.

“Radon is a serious public health threat that leads to more than 21,000 deaths each year,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “This new federal partnership will help Americans reduce their risk of radon exposure.”

EPA Calls for Radon Action this January

EPA Calls for Radon Action this January

The World Health Organization and Environmental Protection Agency have announced a call to action for Americans to test their homes for Radon Gas, which has recently been identified as the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the U.S.

The EPA has officially designated January 2011 to be National Radon Action Month in the United States. The press, local health departments, and the media are encouraged to help save lives in 2011 by promoting National Radon Action Month.

Radon is a naturally-occurring, radioactive gas that seeps out of the ground and can enter homes and other buildings. Since Radon is invisible and odorless, the only way to know if a home has dangerous levels of the gas is to conduct a Radon test. Radon problems have been found in every county of the U.S. so the Surgeon General is recommending that all homes are tested.

Radiation in Public Wells: What is Your Public Water Supplier Not Telling You?

Around the US. contamination is being discovered but what are our public suppliers not telling us?

Watch this video.

HOUSTON — A radioactive water well that is controlled by the City of Houston, and that serves residents of Jersey Village, is no longer being used, according to the communications director for Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

On Monday, a KHOU-TV investigation revealed Jersey Village water well #3 was one of 10 water wells identified by recent federal tests as having tested high for a particularly damaging form of radiation called alpha radiation.

As recently as two weeks ago, city officials had said that same well, and nine others across the city, remained online and “available for use,” even after being identified in a draft report by the United States Geological Survey as testing high for radioactive contaminants that are known to immediately increase risks for cancer.

Radon Poses Extra Threat for Homes in Winter Months

The threat of radon makes this the season to be wary.

The gas that can't be seen or smelled but is the second-leading cause of lung cancer — smoking is No. 1 — is a particular peril to this area at this time of year.

"A lot has to do with the geology in this area," said Jerry Weyer of Radon Reduction Specialists in Manitowoc, referring to the traces of uranium in the regional bedrock that converts to radioactive radon gas as it decays. "But houses are shut tight at this time of year — that allows the radon to be sucked into the home."

Kerri and Howard Herrild found that out when they purchased their Ledgeview house in November. A radon test revealed that the gas levels in the home were above 4 picocuries, the radiation safety standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

With a 2-year-old in the house, the Herrilds spent $600 to have a radon reduction system installed before they moved in over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Radon in Tap Water Worries Chelsea, CA Residents

Some residents in Chelsea, Que., are spending thousands of dollars to rid their drinking water of radioactive gas.

Radon gas forms naturally from the breakdown of uranium in the ground and seeps up through basements and cracks in the foundation of houses.

Chelsea resident Dugald Seely installed a specialized ventilation system to remove radon when he moved to the area, but he said the gas was still getting into his house. That's when he began to suspect his well water.

"Many houses won't have this as an issue, but I think it's worth checking," Seely said. "Especially when there are kids that are going through development and are at high risk."

A U.S. lab tested his water and found high radon levels. While the water is safe to drink, Seely said running the taps releases radon into the air.

Charlotte Barrette-Brisson, a Montreal-based radon mitigation expert, said she was "surprised" to learn radon is being released through the taps.

Web Exclusive: Second Leading Cause of Lung Cancer

Watch this video

(KYTX) - You don't have to be a smoker to develop lung cancer.

The second leading cause of this killer could be hiding in your house and you might not even know it.

You can't see it or smell it, but Radon could be lurking in your home right now.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas.

Radon specialist Terry Howell says it can accumulate in both old and new homes, also in office buildings, high-rises, and schools.

And exposure to radon can pose a serious health risk.

Howell says, "Most people think that smoking is primarily the cause of lung cancer and they're right, but Radon seems to be the second most common cause."

Being a smoker increases the risk of cancer from Radon, because smokers' lungs are already compromised.

And just because your neighbor doesn't have radon in their home doesn't mean you're in the clear.

Poor Quality of Indoor Air Could be Behind Your Health Problems

One of the top five public health risks facing the United States is the air we breathe indoors -- in our homes, schools and businesses.

It's where Americans spend about 90 percent of their time, and where levels of pollution could be two to five times higher than outdoor levels, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Indoor air pollutants -- such as dust mites, volatile organic compounds (known as VOCs), fibrous particulates, radon, mold and other contaminants -- can trigger short- and long-term health problems ranging from asthma to allergies.

A strong indicator of poor indoor air quality is a person's symptoms dissipating when away from the structure and increasing when one returns to it. The EPA recently announced it would spend $2.4 million on a cooperative to help increase awareness and improve indoor air quality nationwide.

Ohio Health Dept. Lands $100K in State Grants

State Senator Karen Gillmor (R-Tiffin) announced Thursday grants totaling more than $1.9 million have been awarded by the Ohio Department of Health to county health agencies within the 26th Ohio Senate District.

"These grants will allow county health agencies to provide health services for important issues such as lead poisoning and radon, which are often overlooked in many communities but can have devastating health consequences," Gillmor stated in a news release. "I commend the efforts of all of these agencies in working to keep Ohio families and children safe and healthy."

The Seneca County Health Department has been awarded a $54,000 grant for childhood lead prevention and a $50,500 grant for indoor radon education and outreach.

"We appreciate so much of what (Sen. Gillmor) does," said Health Commissioner Marjorie Broadhead. "All of these are wonderful programs."

Univ. of Nevada Cooperative Extension Contest: Test Your Home for Radon

January is National Radon Action Month and the Nevada Radon Education Program at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) is sponsoring a “Test Your Home for Radon and Win Contest” for residents of Douglas, Carson City and Washoe counties.

The “Test Your Home for Radon and Win Contest” will provide two Carson City, Douglas or Washoe county homeowners with a $1,500 credit towards the installation of a radon mitigation system.

"We hope the contest encourages more homeowners to test their homes for radon," said Susan Howe, Nevada Radon Education Program director. "We're adding the incentive of winning two $1,500 credits toward two radon mitigation systems to increase awareness of the importance of mitigating homes with elevated radon levels."