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Lung Cancer Awareness Highlights Dangers of Radon Gas

The month of November is recognized as Lung Cancer Awareness Month bringing attention to a disease claiming more than 160,000 lives each year.

As the leading cause of cancer deaths in America, lung cancer is responsible for more deaths each year than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.

Smoking is widely known as the leading cause of lung cancer, but officials urge area residents to be aware of lung cancer’s second leading cause — and the disease’s No. 1 cause in non smokers — radon.

Radon is a radioactive element naturally occurring in the Earth’s crust. Deposits in the soil dissipate harmlessly into the environment, unless they become trapped in a home or workplace. Inadequate ventilation can lead to dangerous levels of radon in basements or the lowest floor of a building.

Radon Awareness - Citizens Urged to Test Homes

Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have found that among annual deaths due to lung cancer, almost 20,000 of them are connected to the airborne form of radiation known as radon. Radon, a gas caused by decaying uranium in the soil which is both invisible and odorless, is found in almost every state. However, it has especially high concentrations in Wyoming; with the exception of Weston and Platte counties, Wyoming has been found to have radon concentrations at or above the danger zone of 4 pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter). Radon is present in the

soil, and enters houses through cracks and other breaches in a house’s foundation. Long-term exposure to these high levels of radon can, over time, contribute to lung cancer. This effect is compounded in smokers.

Taking Action: Radon ‘Rumors’ at Calhoun College

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT)–WHNT News 19 received a tip from a caller late last week who claimed high levels of Radon had been detected in Wallace Hall on the Decatur campus of Calhoun Community College. The caller also claimed classes were in session while maintenance crews worked installing a ventilation system to clear out the Radon.

The caller, who remained anonymous but appeared to have insight into the situation, told a WHNT News 19 producer Calhoun faculty and staff were called into a meeting about the alleged Radon levels detected and were asked to keep quiet about the situation.

Tripoli Couple Hopes to Raise Awareness of Radon Risk

Tripoli Couple Hopes to Raise Awareness of Radon Risk

TRIPOLI (KWWL) -
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. What's frightening, the gas can't be seen or smelled. It's found naturally in the soil, and makes its way into homes.

The good news--there's a way to get rid of radon before it becomes a problem. We caught up with a local couple affected by radon, who hope their story might help others.

Duane Buchholz knows he's lucky to be alive, after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last year.

"His prognosis was not very good," said Lavera Buchholz, Duane's wife.

When Duane was first diagnosed, it was quite a shock, especially since he's never been a smoker. But doctors had a good idea of what might have caused his cancer.

"They said, 'Well have you ever check your house for radon? That's the second leading cause of lung cancer,'" Duane Buchholz said.

The Hidden Cause of Lung Cancer

Many of you know of someone who developed lung cancer even though they never smoked. Likewise, many of us know of someone who had lung cancer even though they smoked much less than others who didn't develop the disease.

Why?

One of the reasons is radon.

You don't have to be a miner to be exposed to radon. In fact, the second leading cause of lung cancer - and the leading cause in non-smokers - is exposure to radon in the comfort of our own homes.

And we are all at risk.

Radon doesn't discriminate based on the value or age of your home. Radon gas comes from the normal decay of uranium beneath our homes.

Radon doesn't necessarily discriminate based on where you live. While some areas have higher radon levels than others, elevated radon levels have been found in homes in all 50 states.

Why do I call radon a hidden cause?

Radon Health Risks Require Testing

Since you can't smell, taste, or see radon gas which is present in most homes, how can you make sure your home is safe? The only way to know for sure is to purchase a test kit and measure the level of radon in your home.

Is it really worth testing for this gas, you might be wondering? Absolutely. Radon exposure is actually the second-leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. Your risk of developing lung cancer due to radon depends on its concentration in the air you breathe and the duration of the exposure. Time between exposure and the onset of cancer is usually many years – all the more reason to test sooner rather than later.

For smokers, the exposure to radon combined with tobacco use can cause a significant increase in their risk of lung cancer.

Protect Your Family Against Radon; Test Your Home

The old saying, 'what you don't know can't hurt you' certainly doesn't apply when it comes to the presence of radon in your home. According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, radon invades nearly one in eight Michigan homes; could yours be "the one?"

Radon, a silent killer, has no warning signs; it can't be seen, smelled or tasted, and contrary to popular belief does not cause headaches, nausea, or fatigue. It is the second-leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, resulting in more than 21,000 new lung cancers each year (more than 600 of those in Michigan alone).

This naturally occurring radioactive gas is found in almost any kind of soil or rock. It travels through the ground to the air above, and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation, floor or walls (sump openings; crawlspaces; floor/wall joints; space around plumbing, wiring, or ductwork; etc.). Any home - old or new - may have a radon problem.

UK's HPA Radon Drive Targets Even More Cornwall Residents

Offers of free HPA radon tests have gone out to thousands more Cornwall residents.

Last month the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Cornwall Council unveiled a new campaign to reduce exposure to the cancer-causing radioactive gas radon across the county and wrote to residents in the former Caradon district offering a free test.

Now the drive has moved onto the area previously covered by Restormel council.
In the past few years the HPA has measured several homes in this area which were more than 50 times over the point at which it is recommended that householders take action to mitigate the problem.

“Cornwall has long been known as the area of the UK with more homes potentially exposed to high radon than anywhere else,” said Neil McColl, head of radon at the HPA’s Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards.

Expanding Business Ready to Protect North Carolina Homeowners

Tryon, NC – Homeowners in western North Carolina are exposed to some of the most dangerous levels of radon in the country and an expanding business is ready to keep people safe from this toxic gas. Employees of Foothills Crawlspace have just completed expert-level training and are ready to take care of all of the area’s radon problems- a problem which kills more than 20,000 people every year.

A study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that Western Carolinians are at a higher risk than those in the rest of the state when it comes to radon exposure. Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. The danger occurs when high levels of radon become concentrated in a home. When radon is inhaled, radioactive particles become trapped in lungs and decay, damaging lung cells. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

Why I Made Myself Radioactive

Why I Made Myself Radioactive

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.