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AARST Announces Emerging Risk Reduction Sectors for the 25th InternationalRadon Symposium

AARST Announces Emerging Risk Reduction Sectors for the 25th InternationalRadon Symposium

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 Department of Public Safety and Health Radon Video

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:


Congratulations 2011 Radon Mini Grant Winners

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

Missouri Radon Levels Higher Than Previously Thought

It's silent, invisible, and a major cause of cancer. In addition, a surprising number of houses in the St. Louis area have too much of it, according to recent test figures.

Many Missouri home owners don't know about radon, or it’s risk, until it's too late. And state politicians aren't doing much to fix the problem.

“Seems like someone should have brought it up before. I don't want to end up dying from lung cancer,” said Wentzville homeowner Brian Hunsicker.

There's something in Brian and Joanne Hunsicker's home steadily stealing years from their lives. It’s cancer- caused by an odorless, radioactive gas called radon. It seeps out of the soil and into many homes across Missouri and the nation.

“Radon is responsible for about 21,000 deaths each year,” said Dr. Bill Field, an internationally-acclaimed Radon expert.

In fact, Field says, radon is the number two cause of lung cancer in the U.S...a surprise for many of its victims.

Radon Testing Now Mandatory For Montgomery County Home Sales

Montgomery County is the first local government in the U.S. to mandate testing for radon gas before a home can be sold. The Environmental Protection Agency says homes in the county are at particular risk for having dangerous levels of the gas.

Most single-family homes would have to be tested for radon before they are sold under a measure the county council gave unanimous approval. Maryland state law already encourages home sellers to test for it and mandates that if radon is detected, they tell the potential buyer. But testing isn't required by the state, and county councilman Craig Rice feels home buyers should know what they are getting.

"We are just asking people to test. Just to make sure that they know what may be lurking in their homes unknown that might be a silent, deadly killer," Rice says.

Radon gas is invisible and radioactive. It comes from the breakdown of uranium in rocks and soil. Humans exposed to it have greater rates of cancer and other diseases.

Montgomery Co. Considers Controversial Bill Requiring Home Sellers to Test for Radon

In Maryland, home sellers who know that their homes have elevated radon levels are required to disclose that information to prospective buyers. However, at present, home sellers have no duty to measure the radon levels in their homes.

That could change in Montgomery County if the County Council approves a controversial bill that would mandate radon testing.

Bill 31-15, sponsored by Council members Craig Rice (D-Upcounty) and Sidney Katz (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville), would require home sellers to test their homes for radon and provide the results to prospective home buyers before entering a sales contract. If the bill is enacted, Montgomery County would become the only jurisdiction in the country to mandate radon testing.

Read more here.

Move over, bacon — lots of other things also cause cancer

On Monday, the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) came out with the strongest findings yet that processed meat (like bacon and ham) causes colorectal cancer in humans.
The agency also found that red meat (beef, lamb, etc.) may increase your risk of developing the same type of cancer.

Americans have a 1 in 20 chance of developing it within their lifetime, and the disease is expected to cause about 49,000 deaths this year.
So, how does eating bacon and other deliciously salty processed meats shape up in terms of overall cancer risk?

Click here to learn about things you can avoid to reduce your risk of developing cancer.

High radon levels in Iowa homes 'surprise' University of Iowa researchers

IOWA CITY, Iowa — You can't see it, you can't smell it, but it causes cancer. It's radon, and a recent study by the University of Iowa suggests it can be found at higher than recommended levels in many Iowa homes.

Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas caused by the uranium in the Earth's crust. It can be found in concentrated levels, often in the lower levels of homes. According to state officials, it's the second leading cause of lung cancer in the nation.

The UI study was conducted in 2013 and published last month. Researchers tested more than 350 homes in the small northwest Iowa town of Akron.

Learn more here.

Bel Air Tests for Radon in Town Hall after Employees Express Concerns

Bel Air town officials have ruled out the carcinogenic radon gas as a source of the health concerns of some town employees after testing showed levels in the bottom level Town Hall do not exceed the outdoor concentration of radon.

"I'm happy to report we're way, way below any kind of a problem area," Public Works Director Steve Kline told town officials during a recent work session.

Some town employees had expressed their concerns about health risks related to radon, a radioactive gas known to cause lung cancer, especially after deaths of employees in recent years.

"There's been some concern that some of the problems downstairs, health-wise, might be as a result of a radon problem," Kline said, referring to the lower level of the building where police department operations are located.

Radon Awareness Week in the City of Fort Collins

The City of Fort Collins encourages residents to test the radon levels in their homes as Radon Awareness Week approaches starting October 19. Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally-occurring gas associated with serious health concerns such as cancer.

The City offers zero-interest loans to assist with mitigation costs when radon is present. The loans range from $1,000 – $3,000 and can assist with up to 90 percent of the costs associated with radon mitigation. Radon tests must be completed prior to applying for these loans. More information about air quality loans may be found at http://www.fcgov.com/airquality/loan.php.

Additionally, radon test kits are part of the City’s Healthy Homes free in-home air quality assessments. To schedule an assessment, go to www.fcgov.com/healthyhomes.

Read more here.