Radon, first discovered in Berks in the 1980s, is a colorless, odorless, tasteless natural gas, stemming from uranium and found in the soil.
"I think it's something people typically underestimate and don't really understand," said Dr. Dennis Sopka, Lehigh Valley Health Network.
Radon causes 15,000 cases of lung cancer each year, according to scientists. Sopka said the real concern is long-term exposure.
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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Reinvestment Fund is supporting health care officials, educators and community leaders in Grand Forks who will work to address the risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer by creating an education program for children.
The goal is to raise awareness of the cancer-causing gas so more people will test for it and mitigate the problem if levels are too high, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences professor Gary Schwartz said.
"Radon is really an invisible but very real health hazard for North Dakotans, and a lot of people don't know anything about it," he said.
Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is produced by decaying uranium in the earth. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., according to the according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
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.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Here is a shocking fact. The second leading cause of lung cancer is radon. In the United States, the EPA estimates that about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year are radon related and in Canada that number stands at approximately 3,000.
Radon, a dangerous gas, is colorless, odorless, tasteless and radioactive. It is formed by the breakdown of uranium, a natural radioactive material found in soil, rock and groundwater.
Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States and Canada is estimated to have an elevated radon level. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem - this means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements since this secret killer comes from the ground not from construction materials.
How Radon Can Get Into Your Home
Governments must make better use of vaccines and preventative public health policies in the fight against cancer as treatment alone cannot stem the disease, a World Health Organization (WHO) agency said on Monday.
The WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said cancer was growing "at an alarming pace" worldwide and new strategies were needed to curb the sometimes fatal and often costly disease.
"It's untenable to think we can treat our way out of the cancer problem. That alone will not be a sufficient response," Christopher Wild, IARC's director and co-editor of its World Cancer Report 2014, told reporters at a London briefing.
"More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed... to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in the cancer burden globally."
The World Cancer Report, which is only produced roughly once every five years, involved a collaboration of around 250 scientists from more than 40 countries.
Did environmental exposure cause bone cancer in at least five West Salem children?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is completing a preliminary site assessment at five locations in West Salem to try to answer that question.
Officials expect to release their report in the first or second week of December, EPA spokesman Mark MacIntyre said.
The study is in response to demands from the public after 17-year-old West Salem High School student Lisa Harder died in November 2012. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2009.
At least four other West Salem youths have been diagnosed with the same type of bone cancer in recent years.
Last November, residents gathered more than a thousand signatures on two petitions asking the EPA to investigate the string of cancer cases. In December the agency agreed.
Lawmakers in at least three states are combatting what public health experts call the “silent killer” — radon, an invisible, odorless gas that that seeps into buildings through cracked walls and foundations.
Bills filed in Iowa and Nebraska, and a proposal taking shape in Utah aim to reduce people’s exposure to the gas, the second-leading cause of lung cancer behind tobacco. Radon kills about 21,000 people each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The state efforts come as health advocates push to bolster a patchwork of randon laws they say has raised public awareness but still comes up short, and as states fear federal help will face the budget axe.
“We’ve got to get smart about this preventable problem,” says Matt McCoy, an Iowa state senator. “Our hope is that more people will become aware of it and start testing.”
Radon, typically found in the basement of a house, kills 400 Iowans a year, but the state health department cannot carry out a state law designed to help protect residents from the deadly gas because it doesn’t have any staff to do so.
Hundreds of radon mitigation systems that are supposed to funnel toxic gas out of basements are not getting tested and could be defective.
Classified as a class A carcinogen like arsenic and asbestos, the colorless and odorless gas causes lung cancer when radon decay particles attach to dust and are breathed into the lungs and damage the DNA, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“The law says we’re supposed to do inspections but we can’t because we don’t have the funds to do it,” said Rick Welke, radon program manager at the Iowa Department of Public Health. “There’s people installing 200 systems a year, and they’ve never been inspected.”
CLINTON TWP. – The results are in, and two of Clinton Township’s four school buildings have tested higher than the acceptable limit for radon concentrations established by state and federal agencies.
The testing was originally spurred by an unusual number of teachers in the district diagnosed with cancer, but school officials said the findings confirmed that the presence of radon gas was unrelated to the cancer cases.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is odorless, colorless and tasteless, said officials, and can be harmful when found in high concentrations
Jason Hooper, Brinkerhoff Environmental Services' senior project manager, presented the radon test findings and explained the mitigation plan to a small group of parents and administrators at a public meeting Wednesday, March 21 at Clinton Township Middle School.
Every year there are 21,000 cases of cancer deaths blamed on radon.
January is Radon Awareness Month. Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection wants you to know the dangers of this radioactive gas.
Allentown's Jon Ramella is living the American dream.
Less than a month ago he became a first time homeowner.
"I like it so far. [It's] a little overwhelming but exciting too," Ramella said.
Before moving in, Jon already had an unwanted and potentially deadly house guest: high levels of radon.
"A little nervous because it's not the thing you want," said Ramella.
Radon is naturally occurring radioactive gas.