The Minnesota Department of Health is promoting a new interactive statewide map of radon levels to encourage residents to test for the carcinogenic gas.
The department said about two in five homes have dangerously high radon levels. Dan Tranter, supervisor of the Health Department's radon program, said he hopes the new map will spur people to test for the gas, which is the No. 2 cause of lung cancer.
All homes should be tested for radon even where the new map suggests the overall radon threat is relatively low, Tranter said.
"There are differences between counties when you look at the map you'll see southern Minnesota [and] western Minnesota tend to have higher radon levels, but we do see high radon levels across the state," said Tranter. "Every county, every ZIP code has high radon levels. So the way the public should use this is to stimulate their interest in the subject."
A Cornishman who spent his working life battling for the rights of miners has died at the hands of the industry he loved so much.
Jeff Parsons (Thorne), 62, lost his battle against lung cancer on October 29, an illness brought on by his exposure to radon during his life underground.
He started mining in 1969 at the age of 19 at South Crofty and, like many miners of his generation, spent time at Pendarves, Geevor, Wellington and Wheal Jane. He even plied his trade abroad for a period, finishing his career back at South Crofty.
He was passionate about his job and the people he worked with.
He was a union representative and helped organise the miners' march on London when local mines were faced with closure. In 1986, he gave evidence to a select committee of MPs at the House of Commons which resulted in a £25 million grant that kept Wheal Jane and South Crofty open.
Stephanie Long and Dr Éamann Breatnach examine the problems caused by exposure to high levels of radon radiation and ways to address the issue.
The Irish population is constantly exposed to ionising radiation of both natural and man-made origins. Natural radiation comes from long-lived radionuclides present in the earth’s crust since the formation of the planet and from outer space. For most people, by far the greatest source of exposure is from naturally-occurring radiation.
The largest source of natural radiation is radon gas, which accounts for 56 per cent of the radiation dose received by the Irish population. Radon gas is also the exposure pathway where the greatest reduction is possible. Most other pathways either make a much smaller contribution to the dose or are not amenable to control.
This article compares the radiation dose received by the Irish population from radon with that received from other sources and explains how exposure to radon can be reduced.
The town of Basin, Montana, has been classified as a Superfund site, but according to some its pollution is a cure.
This article is excerpted from the Bellevue Literary Review's fall issue.
I get Geigered—to measure my personal level of radioactivity— before I enter the Merry Widow Health Mine. I register a measly, unradiating 0.1 millirads with barely a click from the Geiger counter. This is, or should be, normal. But I’m about to get dosed by radon gas, and the ‘before’ measurement is crucial to assessing the after-effects of one of the most intriguing and ironic features in the heart of mining country: health mines.
For the last few years, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Radon Program has focused on a “Healthy Homes for the Holiday’s” theme near National Radon Action Month (NRAM). To further this outreach, the program seized opportunities to promote radon awareness both before and during January.
The program kicked off NRAM activities this year by showcasing radon at the 2010 Illinois Women’s Health Conference, held on December 7 – 8, 2010, in Springfield, Illinois. To ensure success, the program partnered with University of Illinois Extension educator Debbie Bartman. As well as being well-versed on radon, Debbie was awarded the Extension Director's Award of Excellence for team work on environmental education on radon and indoor air quality.
Smokers who have higher levels of vitamin B-6 and certain essential proteins in their blood have a lower risk of getting lung cancer than those deficient in these nutrients, according to a study by cancer specialists.
Lung cancer in “never-smokers” constitutes only a small proportion of patients with lung cancer. Nevertheless, the topic has recently attracted a good deal of attention. Initially this was due to the fact that never-smokers with lung cancer had better outcomes with epidermal growth factor receptor–tyrosine kinase (EGFR-TK) inhibitors, compared to tobacco smokers with lung cancer. More recently the identification of molecular changes unique to lung cancer in never-smokers has generated further interest in this disease. These findings have the potential to enhance our knowledge of lung cancer biology and lead to the development of new, more effective treatments for lung cancer. In this review, we summarize the existing body of knowledge on lung cancer in never-smokers.
The full article is available here.
ATSDR has released the draft Toxilogical Profile for Radon. You can obtain a copy from the ATSDR Website. Public comments period ends on February 27, 2009.