'I Was Very Confident In My Ignorance:' Woman Whose Husband Died From Radon-Related Cancer Now Works To Inform Others
Gloria Linnertz had no idea that a silent killer was lurking in her Waterloo home.
Her husband, Joe, went to the doctor in late 2005 because his liver enzymes were elevated. After a series of tests, an oncologist informed the couple that Joe had stage IV lung cancer with only weeks to live.
“When we asked the oncologist what could have caused Joe’s cancer, he said known causes of lung cancer are tobacco and radon gas. My husband hadn’t smoked in 27 years and led a healthy lifestyle,” Linnertz said.
But their home harbored dangerous levels of radon, which Linnertz maintains was responsible for her husband’s death.
“We had no idea that we were living with over four times the EPA radon action level in our home for 18 years. I didn’t know that until one month after Joe’s death. He died six weeks after he was diagnosed,” she said. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from radioactive decay in the soil. The gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless.