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radon in homes

More focus on radon safety after new study points out cancer risk

A new study should cause concern for some Morgan County residents who may be living in a home with elevated levels of radon.

A new study released last month by the American Cancer Society indicates exposure to high levels of radon could lead to increased risk of bone marrow cancer and lymph node cancer, among other types of common blood cancers.

Read and hear radio clip here at WLDS/WEAI Radio: http://wlds.com/news/more-focus-on-radon-safety-after-new-study-points-out-cancer-risk/

Combined effects of tobacco smoke and radon put Kentuckians at heightened risk of lung cancer

In Kentucky, a trifecta of risk factors contributes to a high prevalence of lung cancer.

High smoking rates and weak or nonexistent smoke-free laws in Kentucky are undeniably linked to high rates of lung cancer, but the soil underground also poses considerable dangers. Exposure to radon — an odorless, tasteless gas that escapes from our limestone-enriched landscape — also increases the risk of lung cancer. Our laws don't adequately protect Kentuckians through mandated testing and monitoring of radon levels or smoke-free protections.

Read more here

Families struggle with radon in military housing

Marine Col. Anthony White had already lost a kidney to cancer that doctors attributed to living on Camp Lejeune, N.C., where thousands were sickened by contaminated water for more than three decades. So when he found out in 2011 that his home at Okinawa’s Plaza housing area had exposed him and his family to elevated levels of radon, White took action.

He discovered the problem after watching workers install a radon mitigation system at a nearby house that had been vacated by a family leaving Okinawa. He recognized the system from his home in Virginia, where, as in most of the United States, elevated radon levels are a required disclosure upon sale or rental of a home.

On Okinawa, all housing falls under Kadena Air Base and Air Force radon regulations. Kadena’s rules have required that radon levels be five times higher than the EPA action level before a home will be fixed, when funding has been available.

Standout Student: Pascal Acree studies radon levels

Last year when Riverwood International Charter School student Pascal Acree was a sophomore in Honors Chemistry, he did his science fair project on the effect of environmental conditions on radon levels in homes. This year, as a junior, he took it to the next level — making a poster and presenting at the international Radon Symposium in Charleston, SC.

He said he was inspired to do the project because of radon test results in his own home.

“My science project examined the effect of environmental conditions on radon levels in a home,” Pascal said. “I was motivated to pursue this because a radon test had recently been performed in our house.

S. Korea's Radon Level in Homes World's Second-Highest

South Korea has the world's No. 2 level of cancer-causing radon concentrations in dwellings, a lawmaker said Monday.

According to Rep. Jang Ha-na of the main opposition Democratic Party, the average annual concentrations of radon gas was 124.9 becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3) in 7,885 randomly selected homes around the country, the second highest after the Czech Republic's 140 Bq/m3.

Under the 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for air quality, the Czech Republic topped the list of countries with the highest levels of radon concentrations, followed by Finland (120 Bq/m3), Luxembourg (115 Bq/m3) and Sweden (108 Bq/m3). The comparable figures for other Asian countries were 16 Bq/m3 for Japan and 44 Bq/m3 for China.

The finding is based on a comparison of data compiled by the National Institute of Environmental Research with the levels of 29 countries surveyed under the 2010 WHO air quality guidelines, the lawmaker said.

About the House: The Inside Scoop About Radon Reduction

For those of you familiar with radon gas and its reduction systems, I’m going to guess you probably are familiar with only one type of mitigation system, the one with a pipe poked into the soil under the basement slab and running that same pipe up and out of the house, terminating somewhere above the eave.

That is the most common system in our area. It may also have an inline fan that runs every hour of every day, which is an active system. That same pipe can often be routed in the same manner, but without the fan assisting the airflow, and is a passive system.

The passive system might be the right type for a simple, open, basement floor plan with the concrete floor in good condition, with minimal cracking and fairly low radon levels. This is also the least expensive system and is generally the type installed in new construction.

In Minnesota, Radon is a Diminishing Risk

Perspective means everything when analyzing whether a public health policy is successful or not. So, when it comes to protecting Minnesotans from radon, is the glass half empty or half full?

In “Radon fix leaves some at risk” (July 14), the Star Tribune took one side of a story and presented a gloom-and-doom analysis. We’d like to tell you why the Minnesota Department of Health should be celebrating a successful public-policy solution.

KARE 11 Investigation: Radon Test Results Above EPA Standards

High Radon Levels Alarm Prince Edward Island Woman, Calls for Testing

High Radon Levels Alarm Prince Edward Island Woman, Calls for Testing

Lynn Douglas’s Hunter River home five times over acceptable radon limit

When Lynn Douglas’s husband was diagnosed with lung cancer, it came about 30 years after he gave up smoking.

That led to the couple talking about testing their home near Hunter River for radon, which turned up in levels more than five times higher than Health Canada uses as a guideline.

Douglas’s husband, Andrew Wells, died in October, about a month after his diagnosis and before the testing was done.

When Douglas got the results they caught her by surprise.

“I’m a fairly well informed person. It just wasn’t on my radar,” she said.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the decay of uranium and the amount present depends on an area’s geology. The gas is odourless, colourless and tasteless so the only way to find it is through testing.

Health Matters: Radon, the Invisible Cause of Cancer

Think you’re protected from lung cancer because you never smoked? When we hear that someone has been diagnosed with lung cancer, we automatically assume that this person was a smoker. It is true that cigarette smoking is the number-one cause of increased risk of lung cancer. In fact, it accounts for 85-90 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses. So what accounts for the remainder? Every day, the second-most-common cause of lung cancer is right under our feet: radon gas. It is reported that one out of every 15 homes in our country has elevated levels of radon gas.