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women's health

Radon in Home Now Linked to Blood Cancers in Women

Residential exposure to radon, a known carcinogen for lung cancer, has now been shown to increase the risk for hematologic malignancies in women, although not in men. The increase in risk was seen after even moderate levels of exposure, according to a large prospective study of the general population in the United States.

The results were published online March 22 in Environmental Research.

"Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and now we have this second set of cancers that we think is associated with even moderate levels of radon," said lead researcher Lauren Teras, PhD, strategic director of hematologic cancer research at the American Cancer Society (ACS) in Atlanta.

People should test their homes and follow the remediation procedure recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "Once they have gone through the process, people can eliminate or vastly reduce their exposure to radon," she told Medscape Medical News.

Promoting Women’s Health During National Radon Action Month

For the last few years, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Radon Program has focused on a “Healthy Homes for the Holiday’s” theme near National Radon Action Month (NRAM). To further this outreach, the program seized opportunities to promote radon awareness both before and during January.

The program kicked off NRAM activities this year by showcasing radon at the 2010 Illinois Women’s Health Conference, held on December 7 – 8, 2010, in Springfield, Illinois. To ensure success, the program partnered with University of Illinois Extension educator Debbie Bartman. As well as being well-versed on radon, Debbie was awarded the Extension Director's Award of Excellence for team work on environmental education on radon and indoor air quality.