The 25th International Radon Symposium, sponsored by the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST), will introduce pre-conference courses and an expanded practicum section at its Springfield, Illinois conference, September 22-25, 2013. The section will concentrate on the emerging risk reduction sectors of multifamily radon testing and mitigation, and radon new construction standards.
Radon,which is the second leading cause of lung cancer and can be deemed the seventh leading cause (after leukemia when separated from lung cancer) of all cancers, is a naturally occurring radioactive gas responsible for over 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually in the United States.
The Minnesota Departments of Public Safety and Health are teaming up to bring awareness to the dangers of radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Any home, regardless of its size or location, can pull up radon gases from the ground. Many people might be breathing in these deadly gases and never know. We hope this informational video will motivate you to get a radon test kit.
We talked to James Kelly, M.S., Supervisor for the Indoor Air Unit and asked a few questions about the video. In addition, we inquired as to other efforts that have taken place during the 2012 National Radon Action Month. First, we asked how the video came about and requested more information on how he was able to get the Commissioners of Public Safety on camera. His response was the following:
CRCPD has awarded six mini-grants for the 2011 Radon Mini Grant Program. Congratulations to the following state programs and their respective community partners:
- Illinois Emergency Management Agency and American Lung Association in Illinois
- Nebraska DHHS Radon Program and Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department
- Ohio Department of Health, Indoor Radon Program and Erie County Health Department
- Maine DHHS Radiation Control Program and the Maine Indoor Air
- Quality Council
- Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Southern Illinois Hospital Services
- Nebraska DHHS Radon Program and Panhandle Public Health District
Charlie McQuinn didn’t think much about the cracks in the basement floor of his Cottonwood Heights home, where he maintains his office downstairs.
But that was before his doctors found a three-inch tumor in the lower lobe of the non-smoker’s left lung two years ago. The culprit turned out to be radon that had accumulated in his home.
"The dryer creates a vacuum that draws the gas up through the cracks," McQuinn told a Senate committee last month in support of SB109, a bill that would establish a $100,000 statewide radon awareness campaign.
Senators unanimously passed SB109, and a House committee gave its OK Thursday, sending it to the full House.
The one-time state appropriation would replace disappearing federal funding.
Read the full article online: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/57636934-90/radon-cancer-lung-poulsen.html.csp
Iowans sounded off on a range of issues under discussion by lawmakers this year for The Des Moines Register’s latest Iowa Poll, revealing widely shared views on several matters. Substantial majorities, for instance, support enhanced enforcement of the state’s ban on texting while driving and favor expanded access to state-funded preschool. Iowans are more divided about ending dog racing at casinos in the state.
RESULTS: Seventy-one percent of Iowans favor requiring schools to test for radon and take steps to reduce it if necessary.
ISSUE: Radon, a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in soil, is believed to be the No.2 cause of lung cancer behind smoking. Lawmakers are considering requiring school districts to test their buildings for the gas and to take action to reduce levels in structures with high concentrations.
This weekend, a scientist who helped discover the source of high radon levels in Portland was honored by his peers.
The Oregon Academy of Science named Scott Burns its 2014 Outstanding Scientist. Burns teaches Geology at Portland State University. He is known for his his work mapping radon, a naturally occurring form of radiation. It can build up in homes and is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.
Burns says in the 1990s, health officials asked for his help studying high radon levels in Portland. He discovered that the radon came from granite rock that had been deposited by ice-age floods.
He explained, “I mapped them out, and I said ‘oh my God! It’s the coarse-grained Missoula flood sediments that were causing the greatest amount of radon in houses.’”
Burns is also considered and expert on landslides and terroir, the connection between geology and wine grapes.
OPB chatted with Burns about his varied career.
If you rent an apartment or house, you should hear from your landlord by the end of March about the results of a radon test for the air in your home.
But don’t hold your breath.
A state law first passed in 2009 requires the air, and the water if from private wells, in all residential rental buildings to be tested for radon — the colorless, odorless gas that is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. The law originally required the testing to be completed by 2012, but a change in 2011 pushed the deadline back to March 1 of this year. The law was amended further last year to ease mitigation requirements.
It’s clear, however, that many landlords and property owners waited until the last couple of months to conduct the tests, according the head of the state radon program and testers and laboratories registered with the state. Others still might not be aware of the requirement.
Public school districts would be required to test buildings for radon and mitigate any high levels under pending House legislation.
The bill approved Thursday by a House Education subcommittee would require schools test their facilities for radon by 2025 and once every 10 years after or following any construction, renovations or repairs.
If levels of the cancer-causing gas are found at or above 4 picocuries per liter, schools would have to conduct a second round of testing with a person certified to test and determine mitigation efforts to bring levels below EPA recommended levels. The legislation allows plant and physical equipment levy funds to be used for radon testing and mitigation.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas found in soil, and Iowa is known to have high levels of the gas. Gail Orcutt, 60, a retired teacher from Pleasant Hill and radon-induced lung cancer survivor, said the bill addresses a serious problem that has a simple solution.
“I thought I was surely going to die … panic set in.”
These are the words of Dennie Edwards, written in 2008, shortly before he passed away after a four-year battle with radon-linked lung cancer. Edwards is one of the more than 21,000 Americans who die every year from the disease — caused by an invisible, odorless killer.
Barb Sorgatz, 60, was far luckier. Her lung cancer was caught extremely early. Still, as a never-smoker, the news floored her.
“It was a shock. I was just shocked. I couldn’t believe it,” she told weather.com of her 2006 diagnosis. “I said, ‘What am I going to do?’"
Newswise — Preparing for visits to our doctors or other healthcare providers is an important step to a successful outcome. Give your questions and concerns to your providers ahead of time, so that they can help address them and find additional resources as needed. If you have a particular concern, share it when you are scheduling the visit so the provider will have the chance to prepare for your questions about it.
Healthcare providers routinely ask questions about environmental health issues and consider the possible role of environmental exposures when evaluating your child. Unfortunately, healthcare providers, even doctors and nurses, typically have not received much training on environmental health issues, but they recognize the importance of environmental health concerns of their patients, and they seek further education and expertise about environmental health when needed.
Where does my health care provider get information about environmental health issues?