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
Mention radon to most people, and you’ll get a blank stare. But mention lung cancer, and you’ve got their attention!
Most people don’t know that exposure to radon, an invisible odorless gas, is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. Pennsylvania is recognized as having a very high risk of radon, so we at the American Lung Association want you to know how to protect your family. A simple test in your home can tell you if you need to take steps to reduce the risk to yourself and your family. November, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, is a perfect time to learn more and test your home.
Radon, a radioactive gas from the soil and rock beneath many homes, keeps itself well hidden. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. are radon-related.
The National Ground Water Association recommends household well owners test their water at least annually for bacteria, nitrate, and any contaminants of local concern.
More frequent testing should be considered if:
- There is a change in the taste, odor, or appearance of the well water, or if a problem occurs such as a broken well cap, inundation by floodwaters, or a new contamination source
- The well has a history of bacterial contamination
- The septic system has recently malfunctioned
- Family members or house guests have recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness
- An infant is living in the home
- One wishes to monitor the efficiency and performance of home water treatment equipment.
Environmentalists point to various dangerous consequences of using fracking technology, but none can be compared to the issue of radiation exposure and radioactive contamination of the development areas it poses.
UK government plans to use fracking technology in populated areas of the country recently drew hundreds of people to the streets in protests. Protesters pointed to the dangerous example of the US, the worldwide leader in fracking, where hydraulic fracturing (which consumes vast amounts of water) led to areas of Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming facing a dire water crisis.
Fracking involves toxic chemicals being lowered into kilometer-deep holes drilled in the ground to isolate gas and oil from shale. The toxic chemicals can then float into lakes and rivers or contaminate the ground. Also, fracking produces a disproportionate amount of waste, including radioactive water, which then has to be dumped somewhere.
Did environmental exposure cause bone cancer in at least five West Salem children?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is completing a preliminary site assessment at five locations in West Salem to try to answer that question.
Officials expect to release their report in the first or second week of December, EPA spokesman Mark MacIntyre said.
The study is in response to demands from the public after 17-year-old West Salem High School student Lisa Harder died in November 2012. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2009.
At least four other West Salem youths have been diagnosed with the same type of bone cancer in recent years.
Last November, residents gathered more than a thousand signatures on two petitions asking the EPA to investigate the string of cancer cases. In December the agency agreed.
Seventeen homes in Louth have been found with radon gas levels above the acceptable level in the past year and a half, according to figures released today by the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII).
One home in Dundalk had more than four times the acceptable level. This is the highest level of radon found in a home in Louth to date and the occupants were receiving a radiation dose equivalent to more than 1000 chest X-rays per year.
In Louth, 294 tests for radon gas were completed in the past year and a half and of these, 17 were found to be above the acceptable level.
Commenting on the findings, David Fenton, Senior Scientist at the RPII said: “We know that Louth has a particular problem with radon and yet only a fraction of homeowners have tested. Our research shows that, of the homes already tested, there is a large percentage with high radon levels.”
Infants and children can be more at risk than adults of developing some cancers when exposed to radiation, for example from nuclear accidents, a U.N. scientific report said on Friday.
Children were found to be more sensitive than adults for the development of 25 percent of tumor types including leukemia, and thyroid, brain and breast cancer, it said.
"The risk can be significantly higher, depending on circumstances," the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) added in a statement.
UNSCEAR said it began working on the report in 2011, the same year as Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident, although the world's worst such disaster in 25 years was not mentioned in the statement. The committee said in May that cancer rates were not expected to rise after the Fukushima accident.
Would you live in a home that was not safe and secure? To be marketable, multifamily housing needs to be both. Moreover, to be safe and to feel secure, a home needs to be healthy. A healthy indoor environment is as attractive to tenants and homebuyers as is a safe and secure one.
We spend an average of 90 percent of our time indoors. Each year there are tens of thousands of deaths and millions of illnesses because of poor indoor air quality. Billions of dollars are spent every year on health care related to poor indoor air quality (IAQ), and the loss of school days and business productivity is enormous.