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Radon in the News

Radon & Earthquakes?

Prior to the recent earthquake in Italy, scientist Giampaolo Giuliani warned an earthquake might be imminent based on a spike in radon emissions readings. For more coverage on this story see the links below:
New York Times
CNN
NPR Science Friday

New CRCPD Newsbrief and Radon Bulletin Now Available

New CRCPD Newsbrief and Radon Bulletin Now Available

The CRCPD February 2009 Newsbrief and March 2009 Radon Bulletin are now available.
Newsbrief
Radon Bulletin

Are radon fears overblown?

It's been almost 10 years since doubts about the real dangers of radon gas began nagging Dr. William K. Grosh, then a family doctor in Akron.

"I had talked with some of our local oncologists and radiologists and was surprised to learn that in spite of high levels of radon in the Reading Prong area, there was a low level of lung cancer there," says Grosh, 81, now a Moravian Manor resident.

A new study of lung cancers in Lancaster County again has Grosh wondering if the radon scare is overblown.

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Radon Day: Danger may lurk in your basement

Radon gas, which results from the decay of uranium, seeps into basements and can be a significant cause of lung cancer to residents of impacted homes.

The Grundy County Land Use Department and the Grundy County Health Department sponsored Grundy Radon Action Day at the county administration center Tuesday afternoon in an effort to raise awareness of the danger.

Illinois is a state with a high incidence of radon and area residents are urged to have their basement “or the lowest level of their residence“ tested.

Travis Jewell of Radovent Illinois explained that, as uranium“ which exists naturally in the soil “ decays, it gives off several by-products, including radon gas. This radioactive gas works its way through the soil. Because houses tend to have a negative air pressure, the radon is pulled into the basement or lowest level of the structure.

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Radon high in 40 percent of area homes

During a recent test, more than 40 percent of homes tested for radon needed to find a way to mitigate the level of the gas.

Some researchers believe that many cases of lung cancer — those not related to smoking — are caused by radon gas coming up from the natural breakdown of uranium and radium in the earth and rising into homes, although there is not yet definitive proof, said Luann Boyer, Morgan County extension agent.

Family and consumer science extension agents presented radon awareness programs in 2008 and 150 of the people who were involved in the programs returned short-term tests for radon, she said.

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Is that granite counter in your home emitting radon?

Fears about granite surfaces are largely unfounded, experts say, but a test can quell homeowners' worries.

Homeowners seeking just the right granite for their countertops have something new to ponder, besides which color complements their cabinets. Some are wondering about the radiation and radon gas that might be emanating from those showy slabs.

The topic sent online forums buzzing last summer after a few high-profile media reports, including a New York Times story featuring a doctor who removed her granite after it tested high for radiation, then replaced it with a different granite.

Now scientists, including a Minnesota physicist, are testing slabs, producing papers and debating each other's findings. The Marble Institute of America recently announced it will launch a "Home Approved Stone" program to reassure consumers about granite's safety. And radon professionals say some homeowners now want their countertops tested along with the rest of the house.

Health experts warn radon threat high in Colorado

A deadly radioactive gas is lurking inside homes in every neighborhood across our state. Roughly a third of all homes in Colorado are at high risk for radon. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the threat.

The Pueblo City-County Health Department is giving away free radon test kits, while supplies last. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends you test your home for radon every two years to make sure your family stays safe.

Radon is known as the invisible killer. "Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas," said Jenny Kedward, an environmental coordinator with the Pueblo City-County Health Department.

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Protect yourself from radon

Fergus Falls, MN — If there was something you could do to prevent the second leading cause of lung cancer, would you do it? Performing a radon test is easy, inexpensive, and can be done privately. This simple test can tell you if you have elevated radon levels in your home.

Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. When you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today.

He urges Americans to test their homes to find out how much radon they might be breathing.

Why is radon a common problem in Minnesota homes? Much of the soil in the Upper Midwest contains widespread uranium and radium. These minerals continuously break down to release radon gas. Therefore, Minnesota's geology provides an ongoing supply of radon.

Saving Lives in 2009

Growing RadonLeaders.org

RadonLeaders.org now boasts almost 400 members in the mere four months since its launch at the national radon meetings in Las Vegas, September 2008. Help build the RadonLeaders.org community by asking three colleagues to join today! Direct them to www.radonleaders.org/user/register.

A Record Breaking National Radon Action Month 2009

Statistics make case for radon testing need

If Mark Versch were a betting man, he might place some money on the chance that any home in Chadron has a level of radon gas judged unsafe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas, known to scientists as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Created by the natural decay of uranium, its danger as an occupational hazard for miners has been known since the early 1900s, but the realization of its presence in homes only dates to the mid-1980s.

Analysis of the geology of northwest Nebraska, where uranium bearing underground rock layers are common, is one indicator that northwest Nebraska homes are likely to show measurable amounts of radon, according to Versch, an environmental health analyst with the state’s Department of Health and Human Services who visited the area last week to present a program on radon at Chadron State College.