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state survey

Radon poses risk at Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif.—Elevated levels of radon pose a significant health risk to California residents around Lake Tahoe, according to a report released by the California Geological Survey.
An estimated 23,400 people live in homes were radon is likely to equal or exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommended action level of 4 picocuries per liter, the agency reported.

The survey found about 40 percent of California homes around Tahoe are at or above that level, and that the basement measurement from one house was more than 20 times that level.

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Excess radon in 42 percent of Illinois homes tested

A state study shows that 42 percent of homes tested in Illinois had excess levels of radon, a leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers, according to Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Andrew Velasquez III.

It is estimated that 21,000 radon-related lung cancer deaths occur annually, 1,100 of which are in Illinois.

Radon is odorless, colorless and tasteless, making the radioactive gas difficult to detect.
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It originates from the radioactive decay of uranium that naturally occurs in soil. It enters homes through cracks and gaps in the foundation or interior construction. Radon can also contaminate the water supply.

The state normally offers free testing kits to residents; however, the 10,000 kits available have been distributed and funding for the program has been depleted.

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