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radon awareness week

State Laws Come into Play with Radon Detection

The federal government’s goal with Radon Awareness Week this year is to prevent lung cancer deaths.

Health agencies across the country have been teaming up this week to try to tackle the amount of deaths caused by the naturally occurring, invisible, odorless radioactive gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.

A news release from the Surgeon General said a recent Harvard Study ranked radon to be country’s top-ranked in-home hazard. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates more than 20,000 people die each year of radon-related lung cancer.

Because it permeates into poorly vented homes through basements, walls and in the foundation, and can accumulate over time, there are easy ways to detect and fix the problem areas.

One difficulty a local home inspector, Sam Morris of Top to Bottom Home Inspection LLC, has come across is that the state doesn’t require radon tests during real estate transactions.

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.

Radon Gas: Invisible, Odorless & Leading Cause of Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers

Prevent Radon Health Risk

National Radon Action Week runs Sunday to Oct. 20, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program would like to remind Nevadans to test their homes for radon, as 26 percent of the homes tested for radon in the state had elevated radon levels. Because radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that has no odor, color or taste, many people are unaware that the gas could be in their home. Elevated levels of radon in buildings is a health risk, as it is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 21,000 people in the U.S. die each year from lung cancer caused by radon exposure.

Homeowners Urged to Obtain a Free Radon Test Kit

National Radon Awareness Week kicks off Sunday and a local non-profit group is working to promote awareness about the radioactive gas which is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Officials with Citizens for Clean Air in Pueblo for Education, Research and Action said Thursday that the average radon level for homes they tested in a four-year program registered at 8.9 picocuries per liter. Radon gas is measured in picocuries, which represents the radioactivity associated with one gram of radium.

Kathy Howe-Kerr, with the nonprofit organization, said more than 70 percent of homes tested in Pueblo County during the Pueblo CAREs program had elevated levels at or above the Environmental Protection Agency's action level of 4.0 picocuries per liter.

"It's a big health issue and it's important because it's a long-term thing," said Larry Howe-Kerr, also with the organization.

Kathy Howe-Kerr said radon tests are simple and effective.

Federal Government Takes Action on Radon Gas to Prevent Lung Cancer Deaths in 2012

Oct. 15-21 is Federal Radon Action Week, according to the Surgeon General. Health agencies throughout the United States have joined forces to promote awareness of the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. The American Lung Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute all agree that radon is a national health problem and encourage radon testing during the October awareness drive.

Radon is a naturally-occurring, invisible and odorless radioactive gas. One in 15 American homes contains high levels of radon. Millions of Americans are unknowingly exposed to this dangerous gas. In fact, a recent study by Harvard University ranks radon as America’s No. 1 in-home hazard. By taking simple steps to test your home for radon and fix if necessary, this health hazard can be avoided.

Radon: The Silent Killer

WSIL - It's known as the silent killer. Every year, thousands of people die from cancer caused by radon.

The radioactive gas can get into your home through the basement, crawl space, or other openings.

That's why one southern Illinois woman travels all over the country to raise awareness.

Five years ago, lung cancer took the life of Gloria Linnertz' husband Joe.

"My husband passed, we had no idea at his death that we were living with high levels of radon," said Linnertz.

The naturally occuring radioactive gas can seep into your home through cracks and openings.

"You inhale the radioactive particles into your lungs, they can attach to the cells in your lungs, the little alveoli, change the DNA of those cells, and change them into cancer cells.">

Before her husband died, Linnertz had never heard of radon. Then, a month after Joe's death, she heard something on the news.

Experts Urge Residents Have Homes Checked for Radon

National Radon Awareness week begins Oct. 17, and although Belknap County ranks lower for risk for the potentially deadly gas than others in the state, experts recommend that everyone has their home checked.

"Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is formed from the decay of radium, which is formed from uranium," said Owen David, radon program specialist with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. "It erupts in soil in New Hampshire and trace amounts of uranium that breaks down into radon."

He said that when erupting from the soil, a house can act as a sort of "vacuum," sucking the radon into the home and exposure to radon over time can have serious health risks, including lung cancer.

"There can be a ten to twenty year latency period," said David. "And unless you already have cancer, that's when symptoms show up."