Skip top navigation

Radon in the News

EPA Announces Radon Video Contest Winner

EPA Announces Radon Video Contest Winner

In July EPA launched its Radon Video Contest, seeking public service announcements on the theme "Radon: Test, Fix, Save a Life," which encourage Americans to test their homes for radon, and fix when necessary. EPA received more than 30 entries!

EPA is pleased to announce that the winning entry in the Radon Video Contest is “Radon: Eddie’s Story” submitted by Benjamin Schultz and Michael Gentilini.

EPA would also like to recognize to the following videos as Honorable Mentions:

Judge OKs Drilling at Uranium Mine in Manti-La Sal National Forest

A federal judge will allow a uranium mining company to drill several new holes in the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

Three Moab conservation groups had asked Judge Dale A. Kimball to halt the drilling planned by Denison Mines Corp. at its Pandora Mine, claiming the U.S. Forest Service permitted the project without an adequate environmental study.

Uranium Watch, Center for Water Advocacy and Living Rivers argued that Denison would create radioactive air emissions and heavy metal contamination if it drills 16 exploration holes and two radon vent holes, a project approved by the Forest Service.

Kimball gave more weight to Denison’s environmental expert, who said there was no significant risk of environmental harm. Kimball also wrote that the Forest Service followed procedural rules when it allowed the project without environmental assessments or impact statements.

A National Radon Action Month Story: One Woman’s Story, One Woman’s Impact

A National Radon Action Month Story: One Woman’s Story, One Woman’s Impact

One Woman’s Story, One Woman’s Impact

In Greater Cincinnati, we have a radon awareness advocate that has made more impact in one month than we have over many years. The message is simple: “Test, Fix, Save a Life.” Her name is Debra Rebensdorf and she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in October of 2009. Late last year, she contacted At Home Radon for a radon mitigation system. She has deeply touched all of us and made us once again realize how important our work is.

Debra and her husband, Lou, live in a beautiful home in the country. They moved away from the city about 11 years ago, to have more space and “breathe in country air.” Debra was unaware of radon and the potential for lung cancer. No one in her family has ever had lung cancer and she is a healthy active woman with a husband, career, friends, horses and lots of 4-legged creatures!

Illinois Lawmaker Advances Proposal to Increase Radon Awareness


Reitz advances proposal to increase radon awareness

Last week, state Rep. Dan Reitz (D-Steeleville) passed legislation through the House Environmental Health Committee to raise awareness of radon and increase reporting of radon between landlords and tenants.

House Bill 5224 would require a landlord to disclose to each tenant any information about any prior radon testing or mitigation. Furthermore, if a tenant chooses to have their unit tested for radon and hazardous levels are found to be present, they must inform the landlord within ten days of the results. The landlord would then be required to have mitigation performed on the unit or allow the tenant to terminate the lease.

Radon Leader Dr. Bill Field Profiled by the University of Iowa


Bill Field University researcher dedicates his life to improving public health.
Twenty-five years ago, doctors told Bill Field that he might never work again.

As a health physicist at the University of California, Berkley, he was exposed to dangerous fumes after an accident involving improperly disposed chemicals. Field was working to evacuate the affected area of campus when he was exposed, and was left with severe eye and nerve damage. He spent several years recovering while on social security disability benefits.

Radon invades homes, silently kills


Gail Dobbs has never smoked. But last spring her doctor diagnosed her with lung cancer. With help from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, the Walton County resident tested her home for radon and found her cancer may be caused by the air in her home.

"Most people don't think about radon, yet radon can have a major impact on you and your family's health," said Pamela Turner, a UGA Extension housing specialist. "Radon can seep into homes and contaminate the air inside."

More than 21,000 people die each year from lung cancer caused by radon. Georgia has the highest rate in the Southeast with 822 deaths last year alone.

Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock or water. It is invisible, odorless and tasteless. Regions with a lot of granite have a higher risk for radon.

Illinois - House Bill 5224 Tenants Radon Protection Update

HB 5224 was voted out of the Environmental Health Committee February 25, 2010 by a vote of 013-000-000.

The bill is now scheduled for second reading and short debate in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Details of the bill can be seen by entering hb5224 in the bill search box at http://www.ilga.gov/.


Spotlight: Watching out for you - Minimize your risk of radon exposure

Gail Dobbs was diagnosed with lung cancer last year.

She didn’t smoke, and she didn’t have a family history of lung cancer.

What she had was prolonged exposure to high levels of the radioactive gas radon. It’s likely that thousands of other Georgians are being exposed, too.

“When you first get the diagnosis, it’s shocking,” said Dobbs, who is 59 and has lived in her Monroe home for 30 years. “You think ... where could it possibly come from?”

Radon is an invisible and odorless gas that breaks down from uranium, granite, shale and phosphate and seeps into soil and water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it’s the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and causes up to 14 percent of all lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. That’s about 22,000 people. Georgia leads the Southeast, according to the EPA, with an average of 822 deaths yearly.

Radon Tee Appears with London Landmarks to Lobby for Building Regs Changes

 Radon Tee Appears with London Landmarks to Lobby for Building Regs Changes

A T-Shirt travelling the globe to spread the message Reduce Radon & Save Lives has been photographed outside London’s Houses of Parliament with specialist contractors, ProTen Services.

Bath, United Kingdom, February 24, 2010 -- Martin Freeman, Managing Director of ProTen Services, posed with the Radon Tee outside the House of Lords, the House of Commons and Big Ben this week.

Ministers at the Houses of Parliament are responsible for passing legislation in the UK, including the Building Regulations, which stipulate whether new buildings and extensions or conversions must be protected from radon.

Currently, only properties located in certain areas of the country are required under Building Regulations to incorporate radon protective measures into the build.

Oregon House Passes Radon Bill

The Oregon House passed a bill Monday that requires all new buildings in the state be Radon resistant.

Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that seeps up from the ground. In small amounts, it's not considered dangerous. But one of every 15 homes in Oregon has elevated levels where the gas collects in basements and lower rooms. Phil Donovan is with the American Lung Association of Oregon.
Phil Donovan: "Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Oregon. And it can be easily prevented in homes. And so the state of Oregon is going to make sure that new residential homes and new public buildings are radon resistant. And they're going to provide information to home buyers so they're aware of the dangers of radon in buying an existing home."

The bill has already passed the senate. Governor Kulongoski has not said if he'll sign it, but state agencies are supportive.

Families can test their homes with a $15 send-away kit.