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Radon in the News

Health Officials Warn of Dangers of Radon

Radon is found in one out of every 15 homes in the United States — and many in west-central Illinois.

Illinois Radon Officer Patrick Daniels said it is difficult to detect because radon, like carbon monoxide, is tasteless and invisible. Daniels said radon comes from the soil underneath a house and will seep in through cracks or holes in the foundation.

When a house has a lower air pressure than outside, it acts as a vacuum and will pull radon inside.

Lung cancer is the only know effect of radon. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause for smokers, according to health officials.

About 21,000 people die annually in the United States from radon exposure — about 1,200 people in Illinois. Because most people do not find out they have lung cancer until the late stages, it is important to have a house tested for radon, according to health officials.

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Colder Weather Increases Radon Danger

The onset of colder weather brings things indoors, including unwanted radon gas. Radon is a result of naturally-occurring uranium breakdown in rocks and soil. The colorless, odorless, tasteless gas seeps up from the ground and can pool in a home.

“Because it’s colder outside and then warmer inside your home, that increases the radon levels,” said Eleanor Divver, radon project coordinator for the state of Utah.

Divver said the potentially elevated levels of the gas make colder months the best time to check for radon.

The gaseous toxin is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
One-third of the homes in Utah have elevated levels of radon, according to Divver.

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Experts Warn of the Dangers of Radon in Central Ohio Homes

It kills more people than drunken driving accidents and house fires combined.

Radon can't be seen or smelled, but it's the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in the United States.

Radon invades homes and buildings through foundation cracks and openings, and even directly through concrete. It can be found all across the U.S.

"It's kind of a swath through Ohio and Pennsylvania," said Eco Radon Solutions Radon Specialist David Jones. "It's more prevalent."

You can't see, smell or taste it, but when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. The radioactive gas is found at the highest levels in the lowest floors of your home - a basement, for example.

Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels. While it is more common in some areas than others, any home can have a radon problem.

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The Causes and Concerns of Radon Exposure

The first time many people learn about radon is when they're buying or selling a house. But this gas, which has no smell, is more than just something to check off in your home inspection. Radon is a leading cause for lung cancer. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Linda Lowen and Lorraine Rapp speak with John Martin from the Environmental Protection Agency about the causes and concerns of radon exposure.

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Utah Radon Poster Contest Winners Announced

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality Division of Radiation Control has announced the three student winners for the 2015 National Radon Poster Contest.

First place went to Cetera Sorensen, 11, of Lakeview Academy in Saratoga Springs; second place to Ani Allan, 10, of Crescent Elementary in Sandy; and third place to Ellie Lyman, 10, also of Crescent Elementary.

The winning posters can be viewed at www.radon.utah.gov.

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This Week Marks National Radon Action Week

The purpose of National Radon Action Week is to educate people about the health risks of radon, learning about radon gas itself, and also inform everyone how to test their homes for radon and what actions need to be taken if there are high levels of radon present.

Radon is a problem that affects millions of homes, daycares, schools, and buildings across the country. This is the time to get informed in order to stay safe and healthy in the place you spend most of your time.

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Knowing the Risks of Radon

The Minnesota Radon Awareness Act requires that specific disclosure and education be provided to potential home buyers. Disclosure has to be made by the seller, in writing, prior to signing a purchase agreement.

Disclosure includes:

1. Whether a radon test has occurred on the property

2. If a test has occurred, the most recent results are to be disclosed

3. Where the radon was found in the home, and whether or not there is a mitigation system or remediation. If there is a mitigation system, the seller must disclose where the system is.

If a home has not been tested, sellers are not required to test in order to sell their home. They are only required to disclose any knowledge of tests or radon that exists.

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Suburban School's Radon Report Sparks Concern

Parents are expressing concerns after a suburban school released radon test results that showed some classroom levels far exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
With some classrooms more than eight times the recommended levels from the EPA, officials at Pleasantdale Elementary in LaGrange say they’re looking into how they can reduce radon levels in the school.

The levels were elevated in 15 classrooms, according to the release. One classroom recorded levels at 34.8 pCi/L- nearly eight times the EPA guidelines. An office was at 25.3 and another classroom was at 12.4.

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Free Radon Testing in a Michigan Town

For Radon Awareness Week Health Department #4 in Alpena wants citizens to be aware of the dangers of radon.

The department will be providing free radon test kits starting October 20th until the 24th.

Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that is very dangerous. It's also one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the United States.

The gas is able to seep into homes through gaps and cracks in the foundation and insulation.

"And it's everywhere, it's all over the United States, it's here in Alpena," said Health Department Representative Cathy Goike. "It doesn't matter if it's a new home, or an old home. You can find radon gas anywhere because it comes from the soil and it seeps into your home"

The test kits the health department is providing are easy to use and provide results in two weeks that state if your home tested positive or negative for radon.

Those interested can pick up their free test between October 20th and the 24th.

Lung Cancer Survivor Advocating for Radon Awareness

You can’t see, smell or taste it but radon is a big threat in Iowa.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in the U.S. However, because of the stigma associated with lung cancer the disease receives less funding for research, compared to other cancers.

It’s news no one ever expects to hear.

“In September 2010, I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and I was 39 when I was diagnosed,” says Lori Tassin of Des Moines.

The mother of four couldn’t believe it was cancer, let alone lung cancer.

“As a non-smoker and not around second hand smoke, yes I was very shocked it was lung,” says Tassin.

It wasn’t until friends told her about radon that she made the connection between the odorless, tasteless, colorless gas and its risk for lung cancer.

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