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EDITORIAL: Stopping radon before it kills

Believing the adage, “What you don’t know can’t kill you,” could actually contribute to your premature demise. Especially if you apply it to radon testing.
Radon causes more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. Many of those deaths occur in Minnesota, where radon is a serious health concern.
The startling reality is that McLeod County is smack dab in the middle of a high-radon zone. We need to take radon testing seriously.
A paper done at St. John’s University a few years ago estimated between 500 and 1,000 McLeod County residents’ lives could eventually be saved from radon-related lung cancer if testing and mitigation were mandatory. The government isn’t likely to require that, so the decision to safeguard your family is yours.
Have you purchased a kit to learn if you’re at risk? Do you know that if the last time you tested was more than five years ago, it’s time to do it again?

EPA and Partners Announce National Plan to Prevent Lung Cancer Deaths Due to Radon Exposure

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), American Lung Association, and other partners are announcing a strategy for preventing 3,200 lung cancer deaths annually by 2020 through radon exposure reduction strategies. Exposure to radioactive radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America. The goal to save these lives will be achieved by reducing high radon levels in five million homes, apartments, schools and childcare centers. The partnership includes three federal departments and agencies, and nine national organizations.

“EPA is very pleased to be a partner in this important life-saving effort to prevent lung cancer caused by radon. Working together creates new opportunities for reducing the risk from radon. Combining our resources will save American lives by magnifying our effectiveness in preventing exposure to radon in homes and schools,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.