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Radon: Unmasking the Invisible Killer

Radon gas is invisible and odorless. But it reveals itself in a deadly footprint it can leave behind -- lung cancer. In fact, exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and one in 15 homes in America is at risk from elevated levels of radon. January is National Radon Action Month and the perfect time to take action to protect you and your loved ones from this invisible killer.

Understanding Radon
Radon is a naturally occurring invisible, odorless and tasteless gas. It occurs when uranium in the soil and rock underground breaks down to form radon. As radon decays, it releases radioactive byproducts that are inhaled and can cause lung cancer. Radon enters a home through cracks in the walls, basement floors, foundations and other openings, and can build up to dangerous concentrations.

Mitigation Reduces Radon Gas in Dodge County Courthouse

Several months ago, Dodge County staff members discovered that some rooms in the old courthouse basement tested positive for radon gas.

There are no standards for the allowable amount of the toxic gas for non-residential buildings in Minnesota, but county commissioners decided to proceed using the strict limits required for residences. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends mitigation if more than 4 picocuries are recorded during radon testing in homes.

(A picocurie is a unit for measuring radioactivity equal to one trillionth of a curie. The curie is based on the observed decay rate of about one gram of radium.)

Radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Bisbee Underground Mine Tour May Close

Bisbee officials say the mining company that owns the property has notified the southeastern Arizona city that it is terminating the lease for the Queen Mine Tour because of safety concerns.

According to city officials, safety concerns cited by Freeport-McMorRan include radon gas found in the mine.

The lease termination would take effect in 60 days, but Bisbee officials say they've referred the matter to the city attorney.

The tour is a popular tourist attraction.

The mine was closed as a working mine by Phelps Dodge Corp. in 1975.

Read more here: http://www.kpho.com/story/23111105/bisbee-underground-mine-tour-may-close

Wright County Public Health Department Offers Radon Gas-Testing Kits At Discounted Rate

Thousands of Minnesota homes have potentially harmful levels of radon gas — the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

You can't see it or smell it, but now, you can test for it in your home with a radon test kit. The Wright County Public Health Department will be offering kits at a reduced cost of $3 until the end of January, or as supplies last.

The "short-term kit" gives the quickest results possible — it has to be placed in the home for three to seven days. The results show whether there are levels of the radioactive gas, which continuously decays and releases radition. The radiation enters the body and can cause cancer.

Kits are availabe at Wright County Human Services, 1004 Commercial Drive in Buffalo. They are also available from the Wright County Wellness on Wheels (WOW) van. Residents can also mail a check to the deparment's address above for a kit to be mailed.

Radon Gas Linked to Granite Geology, Study Finds

Radon Gas Linked to Granite Geology, Study Finds

The amount of radon gas found in the Channel Islands is associated with the geology of the island and not construction materials, a survey finds.

The three-month tests of 137 island homes, 73 in Guernsey and 64 in Jersey, measured the level of gas in the walls.

Radon occurs naturally in areas with a large amount of granite and 99 of the homes tested were below target levels.

Fourteen island homes were above the target level and owners have been told to ensure there is good ventilation.

The survey was carried by the islands' authorities with the UK Health Protection Agency. The 137 properties were selected to cover a range of geological conditions and population areas.

The aim was to find out more about radon and its distribution.

'Granite geology'

Radon Linked to More Lung Cancer Deaths Than Previously Thought

Radon Linked to More Lung Cancer Deaths Than Previously Thought

Reducing gas levels in homes could save hundreds of lives annually, Health Canada says

New Health Canada research indicates there are hundreds more cases annually of lung cancer caused by indoor radon exposure than first determined in the late 1970s, prompting the agency to urge Canadians to check levels of the colourless and odourless gas in their homes.

Health Canada tests conducted in the late 1970s estimated that 10 per cent of lung cancers resulted from indoor exposure to the radioactive gas, which is produced naturally when uranium in the soil degrades. Radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air and can sometimes seep into homes.

Radon Gas Deadlier Than Thought: Radioactive Substance Causes 16% of Lung Cancer Cases, Health Canada Says

Radon Gas Deadlier Than Thought: Radioactive Substance Causes 16% of Lung Cancer Cases, Health Canada Says

Radon seeping invisibly into some Canadian homes causes hundreds more lung-cancer deaths a year than previously thought, a Health Canada study based on a recent testing blitz has concluded.

The department has almost doubled the estimated risk posed by the radioactive gas, saying it likely accounts for 16% of lung cancer cases, up from the 10% estimate that had been accepted for decades.

About 3,200 Canadians a year likely die because of exposure to radon, produced naturally when uranium in the soil degrades, say the study authors. Efforts to reduce radon levels need to be stepped up, they urge in a paper appearing in the journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry.

Hold Your Breath

Hold Your Breath

Forget Los Alamos—your biggest radiation risk could be right under your doorstep

On the 67th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, anti-nuclear organizations and concerned citizens staged a large protest of nuclear development in Los Alamos. Though protesters often cite political and ethical rationales, another common argument against nuclear power is the harmful radiation that can leak into local communities. But as sites such as Los Alamos National Laboratory receive high-profile attention, an invisible and potentially more dangerous source silently creeps into Santa Fe homes.

Home Sweet Home—or Is It?

My odyssey began when I was told I had incurable lung cancer. After a lifetime of eating healthful food, drinking pure water and living an active life, this came as quite a shock! Naturally I wanted to know what caused my illness and my search lead me to discover our home was filled with radon—a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas. Indeed I have found that our entire valley has very high levels of radon and, perhaps coincidentally, a very high incidence of cancer. I want to share what I have learned so people can take steps to protect themselves and their families.