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Simple Test Can Help Homeowners Figure Out if Radon Exists in Their Dwelling

Simple Test Can Help Homeowners Figure Out if Radon Exists in Their Dwelling

The New Brunswick Lung Association has issued a warning: if you are a smoker and there are high levels of radon gas in your home, your chances of developing lung cancer are greatly compounded.

"Radon and tobacco smoke are two of the leading causes of lung cancer," said Dr. Barbara MacKinnon, the association's president and CEO, following a demonstration for media about how to test for radon in your home.

"The good news is that you can do something about both of them."

People can quit smoking and homes can be renovated, relatively inexpensively, to reduce levels of radon, she said.

The statistics are frightening.

If you have high levels of radon in your home, long-term exposure means you have a one-in-20 chance of developing lung cancer.

A smoker has a one-in-10 chance of developing lung cancer.

But if you have high levels of radon gas and you are a smoker, the odds of getting lung cancer shoot up to one-in-three, according to data provided by Health Canada.

Montana State University Educates about Harmful Radon Gas with Vericom's ChannelCare Digital Signage

Compelling Content Drives Renters and Homeowners to Get Radon Levels Tested

Vericom has partnered with Montana State University (MSU) in a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to use ChannelCare healthcare digital signage to communicate the importance of radon testing and drive renters and homeowners alike to purchase radon test kits. Radon is a naturally occurring, cancer-causing radioactive gas and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US, according to the US Surgeon General. There are ways to reduce radon gas to acceptable levels, but the only way to know the level in your residence is through radon testing. There are no signs associated with the presence of radon.

Radon Levels Untested in Some Colorado Schools

Radon Levels Untested in Some Colorado Schools

As many as half the schools in Colorado may be out of compliance with a 1991 state law that required them to test radon levels in their buildings and keep documentation of those tests on file.

A survey of each of the state’s 2,274 K-12 schools – sent out by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in 2009 and still not completed by all of them – found that most schools likely did the testing, and that most of those who found elevated levels of the cancer-causing gas did take steps to fix the problem.

But many did not. More than 300 acknowledge they never completed the testing. And many others lack the documentation to prove they did – nor can they show whether any remediation steps they took were adequate at the time and remain adequate today.

About the House: How Radon Finds its Way into Our Homes

Rob Kinsey has been a licensed builder for 25 years and is a home inspector with more than 15 years of experience.

Sturgis, Mich. — Last week’s column addressed the issue of radon testing. It pointed out that radon is considered to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. What it didn’t give was much information about radon itself.

Radon is a silent killer. It relies on stealth, and apathy. By its nature, it is silent. And, as I noted last week, it is immune to detection by our five senses. It’s invisible, patient and relies on us doing nothing. Essentially it uses the adage, out of sight, out of mind.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas. It comes from the breakdown of uranium deep within the ground. Please do not ask me how a rock can break down into other things and along the line become a deadly gas. That science is advanced well beyond my education. But then again so is chemistry and flying through space — yet I believe in them.

Radon Testing: Lung Cancer Survivor Encourages Iowans to Test Homes

Watch this news segment.

This month the Iowa Department of Public Health is reminding Iowans to test their home for radon. The poisonous gas affects more households in Iowa than any other state in the country.

Gail Orcutt of Pleasant Hill was diagnosed with lung cancer last spring and had to have her left lung removed. When she was home recovering, she came across an article about lung cancer in non-smokers.

"It was all about radon. So we tested our house. It came back higher than it should be," she said.

The life-long non smoker, then discovered her home of 18 years had unsafe radon levels. Now she's working to encourage more Iowans to test their homes for radon.