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Exposure to radon

Advancing Healthy Housing: A Strategy for Action

An exciting press and stakeholder event promoting radon action is taking place on Monday, February 4, 2013 from 9:00-11:30 a.m. EST, at the National Building Museum (401 F Street, NW) in Washington D.C. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will join the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) along with a number of additional federal agencies to announce “Advancing Healthy Housing: A Strategy for Action”. This new plan unifies federal activities to advance healthy housing, demonstrates the connection between housing condition and residents’ health, and promotes strategies and methods intended to control and prevent major housing-related hazards in a cost-effective manner.

Senior leaders from sponsoring agencies, including EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, will announce the release of the Strategy and discuss their respective agency’s work relating to the Strategy’s vision and goals.

States May Lose Federal Help in Fighting Radon

WASHINGTON -- A dry cough, a small pain in her shoulder blade - it was probably just allergies, Liz Hoffmann thought before a doctor's visit in 2003. But a chest X-ray soon told a different story. A 5-centimeter mass was growing in her left lung. Soon came the surgery, followed by the nauseating chemo drugs. Next Hoffmann endured daily rounds of chest radiation.

But late in the summer of 2006 the cancer returned. This time more than 4 liters of fluid filled her chest, which was drained twice a week. She endured another round of chemotherapy. By 2008, the cancer had spread to her brain, where the lesions have since multiplied.

Today Hoffmann, 46, is facing a fourth round of chemotherapy, as she continues to beat her original odds of post-diagnosis survival: a 15 percent chance of living five years.

But what caused her cancer? After all, she had neither smoked nor lived among smokers.

Facts about Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless gas that comes from deposits of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It is harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air, but when trapped in buildings, can be harmful, especially at elevated levels. Radon is a radioactive decay product of radium, which is a decay product of uranium. Uranium and radium are both common elements in soil.