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The silent killer: How to protect your home against radon gas

Unbeknownst to millions of families, the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers could be lurking inside their homes.

Exposure to radon, a naturally-occurring radioactive gas, claims an estimated 24,000 lives annually, according to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Many victims have never smoked a cigarette, according to the American Lung Association.

Radon, a Class-A carcinogen, is the second-leading lung cancer threat overall, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The odorless, tasteless and colorless gas can be found anywhere and can go undetected inside homes for years.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that one in 15 homes will test at or above the EPA’s action level of four picocuries per liter (pCi/L).

A picocurie is a measure of the rate of radon’s radioactive decay.

KS Physicians Advocacy Day gets a radon booster shot!

Radon Professionals - we know that communicating with physicians to inspire them to advocate for radon testing as a key prevention step for their patients is a challenge. In Kansas we have benefited from having the Secretary of Kansas Department of Health and the Environment (KDHE) being a physician and championing this issue. Here is the summary of what has happened in association with Kansas Radon Action Month and the letter he sent to all KS family physicians on radon.

Beware the Radon Menace that Creeps into Your Home

For more than a year, I lived with a quiet, invisible potential killer in my Northeast area home.

Instead of tackling the problem, I did improvements like planting flowers, lawn work, reroofing, caulking and tearing out wall-to-wall carpet to strip and refinish the oak woodwork.

An inspection when I bought the house revealed that I needed to take care of one major improvement that until this year I put off. The inspector found that the radon level in the house was 14. Four is acceptable.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that the Environmental Protection Agency has identified as the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the U.S. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that results from the breakdown of radioactive material in soil.

Former Mayor Snead to Head Engineering Extension at KSU

Former mayor Bruce Snead has been named director of Engineering Extension at Kansas State University.

Snead has been a state extension specialist in residential energy, radon and indoor air quality at K-State since 1982. In the 1980s much of his work involved energy efficiency in existing and new homes, and solar energy applications for homes and businesses.

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Kansas Homeowners Encouraged to Check for Radon

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Radon, a leading cause of lung cancer, is a naturally occurring radioactive element found in the soil; it’s odorless and colorless, but can seep through gaps and cracks in a home’s foundation, said Bruce Snead, Kansas State University Research and Extension residential energy specialist.

When tested, about one in four homes in Kansas will be found to have radon levels at or above four picocuries per liter of air (a scientific measurement), which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s Action Level, Snead said.

Testing for radon is important because the radioactive substance is the second leading cause of lung cancer, he said.

Commercial testing kits are available for purchase at home and hardware stores, and Kansans also may buy a low-cost test kit at county and district K-State Research and Extension offices.

The tests are easy to complete, but it is important to follow the directions exactly, Snead said.

1 in 4 Kansas Homes May Have Elevated Radon Risk

1 in 4 Kansas Homes May Have Elevated Radon Risk

Pratt, Kan. — One in every four homes in Kansas may have elevated radon levels. The United States Surgeon General considers indoor radon gas to be a national health problem and recommends that every home be tested. The week of Oct. 17-24 has been designated as Radon Awareness Week.

Radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause for non-smokers, is a naturally occurring radioactive element found in the soil. It is odorless and colorless but can seep through gaps and cracks in a home’s foundation. It contributes to about 21,000 deaths per year from lung cancer.

In the last year, Kansas State University Research and Extension has become home to the National Radon Program Services for the Environmental Protection Agency. The university operates a center for information, sponsors a poster contest for 9- to 14-year-olds and services in advisory capacity on legislation pertaining to radon.