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Radon in the News

More needed to reduce radon-related cancer

More than 35 years after studies first linked radon to lung cancer, researchers and public health officials are urging new legislation to prevent an estimated 3000 Canadians from dying every year after exposure to the radioactive gas.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking, accounting for about 16% of lung cancer deaths annually, reports the Canadian Cancer Society.
Radon is a naturally occurring by-product of uranium that can seep into any building from the soil. Radon cannot be seen, tasted or smelled. The carcinogen may accumulate in any home — regardless of a region's geographic risk — particularly in basements and crawl spaces that have not been properly ventilated.

Standout Student: Pascal Acree studies radon levels

Last year when Riverwood International Charter School student Pascal Acree was a sophomore in Honors Chemistry, he did his science fair project on the effect of environmental conditions on radon levels in homes. This year, as a junior, he took it to the next level — making a poster and presenting at the international Radon Symposium in Charleston, SC.

He said he was inspired to do the project because of radon test results in his own home.

“My science project examined the effect of environmental conditions on radon levels in a home,” Pascal said. “I was motivated to pursue this because a radon test had recently been performed in our house.

Senate panel OKs plan for more radon prevention in new homes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Builders in Iowa would be required to install radon mitigation systems in new homes under legislation that has won approval in an Iowa Senate committee.

The bill moved out of the State Government Committee on Wednesday. Under the proposal, new homes must be built with radon mitigation pipes. If the homeowner discovers radon, they can add a fan to use the system.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can leak through cracks in building foundations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls radon the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. The agency also says Iowa's 99 counties are in the agency's highest risk zone for exposure.

A similar bill was approved by the Democratic-majority Senate two years ago but failed to advance in the Republican-controlled House.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Canada’s Largest-Ever Home Radon Testing Results Released

The BC Lung Association on January 26, 2015, released the results of the largest ever community-wide home radon testing project done in Canada. Getting more British Columbians to test their homes for radon – the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking – is a priority for the BC Lung Association. As is ensuring people know how to mitigate a radon problem, if one exists.

During winter 2014, radon test kits were distributed to more than 2000 homes in Prince George and 230 homes in Castlegar and surrounding areas – two areas of the province known to have elevated levels of indoor radon.

Measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3), Health Canada recommends home radon levels not exceed a safety threshold of 200 (Bq/m3).On average, one in three Prince George homes and one in two Castlegar homes tested above Health Canada’s suggested safety threshold.

It's Time to Get Serious About Harmful Radon Exposure

Radon, a naturally-occurring invisible gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Twenty-one thousand Americans die from radon-induced lung cancer each year. You can't see, smell or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home. The good news is that radon exposure is preventable. The American Lung Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are committed to fighting radon. Now, we're enlisting others to help take the fight to a whole new level -- because no one should have to suffer from preventable radon-caused cancer.

Home testing for radon is encouraged

It almost sounds like the trailer for a B horror movie.

Cue scary music.

Deep voice: It could invade your home, and you won’t even know it. You can’t see it, smell it or hear it. And it could kill you.

The people at the American Lung Association and the Duluth Healthy Homes Partnership don’t want to scare anyone. But all of the above is true of radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that happens to occur quite a bit in Minnesota.

To read more: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/health/3656011-home-testing-radon-encouraged

Radon Action Month in Illinois: What Are the Levels in Your Home?

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Radon is the most significant health risk homeowners face, and this month state leaders are encouraging residents to test their homes for the dangerous gas.

According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, nearly 1,200 citizens die annually from radon-related lung cancer. Patrick Daniels, radon program manager at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, says now is the best time of the year to check the radon levels inside a home.

"We want to test homes under what we call 'closed house conditions,'" says Daniels. "Being as cold as it is we tend to keep our windows and doors shut and homes closed up and pretty tight so it just makes it a good time to test."

Test kits range in price from $10 to $30, and can be purchased at a local hardware store or online. Daniels says it's recommended that homeowners who are involved in a real estate transaction hire a licensed professional to test the home for radon.

Georgia State Professors Awarded $300,000 to Study Environmental Health Disparities, Including Radon

Researchers at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University have received a $300,000 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to examine ways to reduce heat-related illnesses and death during extreme heat and reduce radon exposure in environmental metro Atlanta.

Dr. Dajun Dai, an assistant professor in Geosciences, will head up the radon study and will work with the DeKalb County Health Department to identify which communities in Georgia’s third most populous county are at the greatest risk for radon exposure.Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that comes from the soil breaking down and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The grant will help pay for radon testing machines that will be used to sample 200 homes in DeKalb County.

Read the article online:

Radon No. 1 Lung Cancer Cause in Nonsmokers

There could be a radioactive gas in your home that causes lung cancer and you wouldn’t even know it’s there.

Lung cancer kills more individuals than any other cancer and radon is estimated to cause 21,000 of those deaths each year in the U.S. Radon is a deadly, naturally occurring radioactive gas that is a health issue in Nevada, as well as worldwide. Once diagnosed with lung cancer, there is only a 15 percent five-year survival rate.

Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer for those who do not smoke. Smokers who are exposed to elevated levels of radon have an even greater chance of getting lung cancer.

However, radon-caused lung cancer is preventable through testing and mitigation.

Read the article online:
http://www.rgj.com/story/life/wellness/2014/10/24/radon-lung-cancer-cause-nonsmokers/17866569/

Radon 101

Basically, the radon in the air around us is continually decaying into these radon decay products which give off all the same types of radiation as plutonium, americium and uranium. These radon decay products in the air have a relatively high probability of not only decaying when in your lungs but also to a lesser extent be absorbed through the alveoli in your lungs to get passed into your bloodstream.
Although these radon decay products do give off detectable gamma radiation when they decay, the largest fraction of dose from these isotopes comes mainly from the intake of these isotopes into the lungs when breathed.

Radon being a gas is easily removed from any dwelling by simple ventilation. This is particularly true if the ventilation has any kind of filtration as even a mild efficiency filter will remove large fractions of the radon decay products.

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